Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Image emerges of potential VAR mistake

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Newcastle United secured all three points on Wednesday night to take their tally up to 40 points and all but confirm their spot in the Premier League for next season. 

However, Eddie Howe and the Newcastle fans may feel slightly hard done by after footage has emerged of a potential handball offence against Crystal Palace which was not given by referee Tony Harrington.

Should this have been awarded as a penalty?

Yes

Yes

No

No

BBC’s Match of the Day (55:00) showed the incident on Wednesday night’s episode and it is apparent Miguel Almiron’s shot on goal cannoned off Cheikhou Kouyate’s arm.

At the time, the Toon had not broken the deadlock but there was no indication that the referee had any doubts over his decision not to award a penalty.

And it seems some of the journalists reporting from St James’ Park could see it was the Crystal Palace man’s arm that blocked Almiron’s shot, as Jordan Cronin tweeted: “Almiron’s shot definitely strikes the arm of Kouyate. Referee Tony Harrington is unmoved, and so is VAR.”

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TIF Thoughts on the footage…

The footage does show the ball striking off the midfielder’s arm, however, it seems the referee has not given a penalty because of how close Almiron when striking the ball.

At the same time, Kouyate’s arm is certainly not by his side, as the MOTD commentator suggested, which could give the Toon grounds for complaints.

The 32-year-old’s arm is up and away from his body, so although the ball was struck with some force, should Kouyate have been punished for leaving his arm in an unnatural position?

It certainly would not have been a surprise if it was given, but at least the decision did not have a huge bearing on the result, with Almiron himself going on to net the all-important winner for the Toon.

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