How LaLiga 2022/23 table would look with no VAR involvement
FC Barcelona, with club legend Xavi at the helm, secured the league title by beating rivals Espanyol, but would they be top dogs without video referees?
Barcelona has been declared the champions of LaLiga Santander after defeating Espanyol with four games still remaining. The team has secured an insurmountable lead over nearest rivals Real Madrid, with a 14-point advantage and only 12 points remaining to be contested. Los Blancos managed to reclaim second place with their victory over Getafe, while Atlético Madrid lost their match against Elche. As things stand, Getafe, Espanyol, and Elche occupy the relegation places.
Non-VAR LaLiga still in play
Interestingly, ceteris paribus, without the involvement of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the outcome of the LaLiga title would still be undecided at this point in the season. In the absence of VAR, Real Madrid and Barcelona would be tied on points at the top of the table. Opinions over unfair interference or justice served will likely come down to what colour of scarf you wear around your neck and how tightly it’s pulled.
The VAR intervened in the 34th matchday to award a penalty in favour of Athletic Club since the referee had signaled a foul outside the area and the action took place inside. It also got involved to allow two goals that had been annulled for offside: in Zorrilla validating Papu Gómez’s goal and in the RCDE Stadium granting one for Puado.
I took a look back over a selection of influential decisions from the off-field refs...
Key LaLiga VAR interventions
(score in brackets if VAR hadn’t intervened and no other action altered it)
Celta 2 - Espanyol 2 (2-1)
Joselu tries to control a ball in the area and Mingueza steps on his other foot from behind and prevents him from controlling it. Penalty given after VAR review. Joselu converts it.
Mallorca 1 - Betis 2 (1-1)
Battaglia’s hand inside the area. VAR intervenes and a penalty is awarded. Borja Iglesias converts.
Valencia 0 - Atlético 1 (1-1)
Musah's goal is annulled, at the request of the VAR, due to a previous foul by Diakhaby on João Félix.
Real Sociedad 1 - Atlético 1 (1-2)
Goal by Morata that is annulled after the VAR notices that there is a previous hand by João Félix.
Athletic 3 - Rayo 2 (3-3)
A goal against Camel was annulled for offside.
Girona 1 - Cádiz 1 (2-1)
Cala’s own goal denied after warning from the VAR, due to a previous grab by Taty Castellano.
Atlético 1- Rayo 1 (1-0)
Nteka’s shot hits Giménez’s arm. The VAR highlights the action and the referee decides to point to the spot. Falcao converts it.
Real Sociedad 1- Mallorca 0 (1-1)
Goal by Amath is annulled, at the request of the VAR, due to a previous foul on Elustondo.
Valladolid 1 - Real Sociedad 0 (2-2)
On minute 11, a Monchu goal was annulled. In minute 45, Kubo’s goal was also cancelled out for an earlier foul by Zubimendi on Óscar Plano. Then, in the 83rd minute, Zubimendi’s goal was ruled out by VAR due to Karrikaburu’s previous offside. How different it could have been.
Betis 1- Atlético 2 (2-2)
Goal disallowed by Luiz Henrique due to a previous offside by Borja Iglesias.
Valencia 0- Barcelona 1 (1-1)
Samu Lino’s goal annulled, after going through the VAR, by a previous handball from Marcos André.
Real Madrid 1-Girona 1 (1-0)
The VAR warns of a hand from Asensio inside the area. The referee whistles it and Stuani converts.
Mallorca 1 - Atlético 0 (1-1)
Goal annulled at the request of the VAR for offside by Morata.
Girona 2 - Rayo 2 (1-2)
The VAR warns of a stamp from Fran García inside the area and the referee signals a penalty. Taty Castellano scores it.
Cádiz 1 - Almería 1 (2-1)
Ocampo's goal annulled due to a previous foul by Fali on Robertone.
Rayo 1 - Betis 2 (2-2)
Isi's goal disallowed due to offside interference.
Atlético 1 - Getafe 1 (0-1)
The linesman cancels Correa's goal, but the VAR determines that he is in the correct position.
Mallorca 0 - Elche 1 (1-1)
Muriqi’s goal was canceled out due to a previous foul by Maffeo on Guti.
Betis 0 - Real Madrid 0 (0-1)
Benzema’s goal from a free kick is annulled at the behest of the VAR because it touches Rüdiger’s hand.
Cádiz 2 - Getafe 2 (2-0)
Getafe scored two goals thanks to two VAR warnings to signal for a penalty. The first by a tackle from Escalante and the other by a handball of Espino. Ünal converts both.
Villarreal 1 - Betis 0 (0-0)
The VAR overturns Yeremy Pino’s goal that had been annulled by the linesman.
Athletic 0 - Barcelona 1 (1-0)
The VAR gives a goal to Raphinha and highlights that Iñaki Williams’s goal should be cancelled out due to a previous handball from Muniain.
Girona 0 - Atlético 1 (0-0)
The VAR accepts Morata’s goal.
Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid 1 (2-2)
Asensio’s goal annulled after the VAR rules for offside.
Valencia 1 - Rayo 1 (0-1)
The VAR warns of a handball from Balliu inside the area. The referee signals a penalty and Kluivert converts it.
Espanyol 1 - Athletic 2 (2-2)
Braithwaite's goal annulled at the behest of the VAR due to a previous handball by Joselu.
Real Madrid 2 - Villarreal 3 (2-2)
VAR confirms that Chukwueze is not offside and Morales' goal is awarded.
Valladolid 3 - Mallorca 3 (3-2)
The VAR warns of a hand from Hongla. A penalty is called and Muriqi converts it.
Villarreal 1 - Valladolid 2 (2-2)
Chukwueze's goal annulled by the VAR for Morales's offside.
Atlético 2 - Almeria 1 (2-2)
The VAR awards a goal to Griezmann that had been wrongly disallowed due to Correa’s offside.