PGMOL chief Howard Webb insists officials made the correct decision not to disallow Newcastle’s winning goal against Arsenal earlier this month despite the call making Mikel Arteta feel ‘sick’. The Gunners were insistent that the ball had gone out of play in the build-up to Anthony Gordon’s strike.
Footage of the ball as it approached the byline did not conclusively prove that it had fully crossed the line. Arteta insisted that the ball had gone out of play, although others pointed out that the ball is in play if it is overhanging the line.
Arteta embarked on a furious rant after the match, which was Arsenal’s first defeat of the Premier League season. He said the decision made him feel ‘sick’ and ‘embarrassed’ to be a part of the English top-flight.
However, Webb has told TNT Sports that the VAR officials made the correct decision to not intervene and disallow the goal. The former referee said that the subjectivity of the incident means that there was no obvious reason to chalk off Gordon’s second-half goal.
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“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,” Webb said.
He added: “And we know the ball is curved, so it can be overhanging the line and we need evidence it’s out, and we don’t have that here.
“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.”
That view will likely infuriate Arteta, who believes the goal should have been ruled out. Arsenal also felt that defender Gabriel had been pushed before the ball was headed into Gordon’s path.
Arteta raged after the game: “How the hell this goal stands? It’s incredible and I feel embarrassed. It’s an absolute disgrace that this goal stood. It’s not a goal, for many reasons, it’s not a goal.
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“It’s so difficult to compete at this level and this is an absolute disgrace. They are a top team but this makes me feel sick.
“I’ve been 20 years in this country and now I feel ashamed. It’s a disgrace and there’s too much at stake here. We are trying to do incredible things and be at the highest level each week. When we’re not good enough I hold my hands up and take responsibility.
“The outcome is nowhere near the level this league needs to have and the way this league is getting competed in. It’s not good enough. I feel embarrassed to be part of this.”
Webb went on to admit that both Kai Havertz and Bruno Guimaraes should have been sent off in the game.
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