There was a point in the 2014 – 2015 Premier League season where it looked like Arsenal were going to finish in second place. With a huge 4-1 home win over Liverpool in the 31st week of competition, the Gunners even displaced Manchester City from the runner-up slot. The takeover was temporary, though. A scoreless draw against Chelsea just a few weeks later dropped Arsenal back into third, while a surprising loss against Swansea City on May 11th more or less ended the football club’s chances of finishing the year in second. In the eyes of fans, though, the fault for the poor turn of events didn’t lie with Swansea for winning the game, or even with Man City. Rather, another opponent caused Arsenal’s troubles: the introduction of Premier League goal-line technology.
The Swansea Match
Indeed, the Gunners donned the Arsenal home shirt 2014 – 2015 on May 11th hoping for a victory to keep the pressure on Manchester City and the race for second place alive. What they got instead was a game that largely languished in scoreless territory, with each of Arsenal’s shots blocked by Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. (Fabianski left Arsenal at the end of last season, and has since had a very successful run at Swansea City.)
A draw wouldn’t have been ideal for the Gunners, obviously. They were three games from the end of the season, and needed every point they could get to have a chance at finishing the year as the Premier League runners-up. However, they ultimately had to swallow a loss after Swansea attacker Bafetimbi Gomis took a shot at Arsenal’s net at the 85-minute mark. The ball looked like it hit the post and was scooped and thrown out by Gunners goalkeeper, David Ospina. However, the referee in the football match ruled it a point for Swansea City—who went on to win the game 1-0.
Goal-Line Technology: How It Works
So how was Gomis’ kick ruled a point? After all, Ospina did grab the soccer ball out of the air, never allowing it to hit the back of the net or land on the ground within his goal.
The ruling was made with the help of goal-line technology, which uses seven high-speed video cameras—placed at different points around the stadium—to monitor action around the goal that is often too fast to track in real time. These cameras indicated that Gomis’ shot hadn’t hit the post before Ospina caught it and threw it out. Instead, footage showed that the ball was already a few inches over the goal line by the time Ospina made contact with it. As a result, the referee awarded Swansea a point.
Fans in the Arsenal home shirt 2014 – 2015, of course, were furious about the call. After all, most of us think of a goal as what happens when the soccer ball sails through a goalkeeper’s hands and hits the net with a swish. These types of goals are clear and impossible to argue, give or take an offside call. They are the types of goals that would be awarded in any type of soccer match, from a schoolyard game to a World Cup fixture.
Changing the Game
Goal-line technology complicates the issue by forcing us to question what a goal actually is, and it has nothing to do with the net. Rather, a goal counts the second it passes over the goal line. This new technology gives refs the video evidence they need in order to know when that happens.
Goal-line technology has only been utilized in the English Premier League since the start of the 2013 – 2014 season, but it has already had a notable impact. For instance, last season, Manchester City beat Cardiff City 4-2 in a January home match, with one of their four points awarded by goal-line technology. The goal in question, scored by Edin Dzeko, was the first time goal-line technology had been used to award a point in the Premier League. Incidentally, it was also Man City’s 100th point of the season, making them the fastest football team in Premier League history to hit the 100 mark in a season.
What are your thoughts on Premier League goal-line technology? Do you think it robbed the wearers of the Arsenal home shirt 2014 – 2015 of a chance at a runner-up finish, or do you think it’s just helping the game of association football to become fairer and more honest? Share your thoughts with Soccer Box on social media! You can connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and other popular social sharing networks.