Premier League Bad Beat: Sheffield United Robbed of Critical Win

  • On Wednesday, the Premier League returned to action with a match between Sheffield United and Aston Villa.
  • Sheffield had +125 odds to win the match on the three-way moneyline.
  • Late in the first half, Sheffield appeared to score a goal off a free-kick, but the goal was never awarded.
  • It was later confirmed that the goal-line technology Hawkeye failed to signal the goal.

BIRMINGHAM, U.K. – A rough restart to competition is putting it gently when describing the situation Wednesday as the English Premier League played its first matches in almost three months.

The first match back from this hiatus was Sheffield United at Aston Villa, and with the return of soccer also came the return of controversy.

In the 41st minute just before the half, a beautiful Sheffield United free-kick from Oliver Norwood curled its way just inside the right post where it was caught by Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland.

Nyland staggered back across the goal line in what appeared to be a clear goal, with Sheffield players running back in celebration and Nyland looking dejected at the goal he just allowed.

But a goal was never signaled.

It is pretty clear from multiple angles that the ball was carried back across the line, even taking a stop behind the post in the side netting.

Nevertheless, a goal was not signaled and no call for VAR review given either.

Referee Michael Oliver was seen pointing to his watch while Sheffield players began arguing the no-call.

All Premier League referees are fitted with a wrist sensor and earpiece that activates when a goal is scored via the Goal Decision System (GDS) created by Hawk-Eye Innovations.

Oliver was simply telling the players that he received no such notification, therefore the ball could not have passed over the goal line.

Play continued and the match finished as a 0-0 draw, much to the chagrin of Sheffield fans and Premier League bettors.

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Later, it was revealed that the official’s watch did signal for a goal while Oliver was in the locker room during halftime.

Hawk-Eye released an official statement apologizing for the event.

Analyzing Betting Impact

The waves of this controversial result were felt throughout the soccer and sports betting community.

Sheffield was a +125 favorite to win at online sportsbooks on the three-way moneyline, with +230 to Villa and +235 to draw.

The larger impact comes from the Premier League table, where Sheffield United sits in sixth place, four points behind fourth-place Chelsea.

For those unfamiliar, the teams who finish in the top four in the EPL are all awarded a bid in the Champions League, which is considered to be the highest level of competition in club soccer.

This is Sheffield’s first season in the Premier League and a top-four finish would be legendary for the relatively small club.

Sheffield needs every point possible in what will certainly be a close race for fourth across these final nine matches.

On the other hand, Aston Villa sits in the cellar of the league table. With a mere 27 points, they find themselves second from the bottom with a strong risk of relegation.

Conspiracy theorists are quick to jump to conclusions of Sheffield being denied the win due to the FA favoring larger clubs like Manchester United or Chelsea to make the Champions League.

While this all is speculation, the result still remains a legendary bad beat for Sheffield fans and bettors worldwide that will not soon be forgotten.