HOWARD WEBB has confirmed that Anthony Gordon’s controversial goal against Arsenal was correctly awarded.
The PGMOL’s chief refereeing officer backed the VAR despite Gunners boss Mikel Arteta’s feisty rant post-game.
Gordon’s goal was checked for the ball going out of play, an offside, a foul on Gabriel Magalhaes and a handball before it was awarded.
But speaking on Match Officials Mic’s Up, Webb said he was in total agreement with the decisions that were made on the day.
He said: “This was a big moment – an unusual situation with three aspects for the VAR to check whether or not the on-field decision of goal should be overturned.
“We see the ball getting very close to the goalline – don’t forget we have an Assistant Referee who is right in line – the ball hasn’t got a lot of pace as it goes to the goalline, so he’s looking right down the line better than any of our cameras.
“And we know the ball is curved, so it can be over-hanging the line and we need evidence it’s out, and we don’t have that here.
“The ball then comes over and Joelinton challenges Gabriel, and it could be a foul, might be a foul.
“The VAR decides that the evidence from the footage isn’t clear enough to intervene with a recommendation for a review for a clear error.
“I think the talks we’ve seen after, the opinion that is split across a lot of analysis, would suggest that was a correct non-intervention because of the subjectivity.
“And then one of those unusual situations where the ball goes between two players, and trying to identify exactly when the ball leaves Joelinton, is really difficult to establish because of the players being so close together.
“So again, no conclusive evidence that Gordon was offside when the ball was last touched. The VAR went through that diligently and identified no clear evidence to intervene to overturn the goal. The process was actually correct.”
It wasn’t the only controversial decision in Newcastle’s 1-0 victory either with both Bruno Guimaraes and Kai Havertz escaping red cards at St James’ Park too.
Guimaraes’ flailing elbow clattered into the head of Jorginho, but he wasn’t even given a booking.
While Kai Havertz flew into a challenge on Sean Longstaff and was given a yellow card for reckless play.
However, Webb has admitted that the officials got both those decisions wrong and the pair should have been dismissed for their actions.
He said: “Quite a busy game wasn’t it? A couple of situations, that in the cold-light-of-day analysis that we go through, going forward, we would expect red cards in both of those situations.”
The decisions on the day saw Arsenal taste defeat in the Premier League for the first time this season.
Arteta was left incensed by the officiating and slammed it as an “absolute disgrace” while saying he was “ashamed” of the standard of refereeing in the league. – The Sun.