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Premier League Panel upholds Newcastle’s goal against Arsenal amid VAR debate

The Premier League Independent Key Match Incidents Panel has backed the referee and VAR decisions to award Newcastle United’s winning goal against Arsenal last Saturday/

The panel’s findings reveal a 4-1 vote in favour of the officials, asserting that despite Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s protests, the goal by Anthony Gordon was legitimate.

They scrutinised three calls around the goal – the ball’s status in play, a potential foul by Joelinton on Gabriel Magalhaes, and offside claims against Gordon. 

Andy Madley was on VAR duties and found no conclusive evidence to overturn the decision on any of the three aspects.

The panel justified their decision, stating (via ESPN): “Although Joelinton does have his hands on Gabriel, there isn’t enough to award a foul as Gabriel had made an action to play the ball before any contact.”

They also claim there was insufficient evidence to annul the goal based on the two factual offences.

However, the panel unanimously criticised the officials for missing two red card incidents during the Premier League match. 

Kai Havertz’s challenge on Sean Longstaff in the 36th minute was deemed ‘a very dangerous challenge’ and the kind of tackle that needs to be eliminated from the game. 

Havertz should have been sent off – a decision that could have significantly altered the course of the game.

The panel also identified Bruno Guimaraes’ arm to the head of Arsenal’s Jorginho in the 45th minute as a missed red card. 

The VAR’s involvement in this incident was subject to a split decision, with a 3-2 vote suggesting they should have intervened.

The ruling highlights the ongoing debate surrounding VAR and its impact on the outcome of matches in the Premier League.

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