MATCH OF THE DAY PUNDITS BAFFLED BY VAR CALL THAT ALMOST COST NEWCASTLE UNITED

Match of the Day pundits Ashley Williams and Dion Dublin were stunned by referee Paul Tierney’s decision to chalk off Elliot Anderson’s header. With the scoreline level, the young Geordie thought he had bagged his first Newcastle United goal.

Jubilant scenes erupted in the away end - with Anderson joining the 3,000-strong in attendance - but those were quickly halted when VAR intervened. Tierney was summoned to the pitchside monitor and the goal was ruled out.

Sean Longstaff - despite not touching the ball - was judged to have been interfering with play. However, the true argument is whether Felipe or Moussa Niakhate deliberately cleared the ball.

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Former Everton defender Williams struggled to understand how the referee thought either player deflected the ball towards Longstaff. He said: “We’ve gone over it and tried to understand why it wasn't given. The understanding from the referee was that it was a deflection from Felipe when it clearly wasn't.

“I think we can all agree it wasn’t a deflection. It was a clearance and it was a decent clearance. He (Felipe) was in the right position.”

Ex-Aston Villa talisman Dion Dublin also condemned a “really poor” decision that went in Nottingham Forest’s favour. He added: “This touch there, that's not a deflection. That’s just good defending, stopping the ball from getting into a dangerous area. And they’ve given it as a deflection. I don't understand. It’s a really poor decision. It’s wrong.”

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2023-03-19T09:22:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd