The Premier League came back and couldn’t even go an entire half without more controversy upon it’s resumption.
The English top division returned after 100 days of no action due to Covid-19 at Villa Park on Wednesday June 17th, as Sheffield United travelled to Aston Villa in one of the two games in hand to be played first.
During a pretty tame first half in which neither side really managed to create a chance, controversy struck 5 minutes before the end of the half.
Oliver Norwood whipped in a free-kick from the left hand side over everyone in the box, only for goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland to completely misread it and end up underneath it. As he just about caught the ball before it dipped in, the goalkeeper collided with his team-mate Keenan Davis and appeared to fumble behind the goal-line with the ball still in his hands.
Sheffield United players began to celebrate while Aston Villa players looked at each-other knowing there was nobody to blame but their own keeper – and yet referee Michael Oliver waved play on as his watch hadn’t vibrated!
Replays show the ball CLEARLY over the line but the referee couldn’t give the goal due to the goal-line technology failing him. At half-time, Sky Sports reported that during the break the word from the referee’s room is that the ball DID cross the line and that his watch buzzed during the break to say a goal had taken place but by that point it was far too late.
Welcome back Premier League.
Hawk-eye, the technology behind Goal Decision System (GDS), have released a statement on Twitter publicly apologising to the Premier League and Sheffield United after their cameras missed the goal. They say that all seven cameras were working and tested, but were too secluded by the players and goalpost to make a decision – something that’s never happened before in over 9000 games.