Howard Webb discusses Newcastle goal vs Arsenal where VAR process was ‘correct’

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    PGMOL chief Howard Webb admitted there "could've been a foul" for Newcastle's goal against Arsenal – but insisted the VAR process was "correct".

    The former referee discussed the controversy at St James' Park earlier this month on the latest episode of Match Officials Mic'd Up, where he addresses the recent officiating in the Premier League alongside host Michael Owen.

    VAR confirmed Anthony Gordon's strike after checking three separate issues in the build-up. It was decided the ball hadn't gone out of play, Joelinton hadn't fouled Gabriel, and Gordon wasn't offside.

    READ MORE: VAR audio released for Newcastle's controversial winning goal vs Arsenal

    READ MORE: Aaron Ramsdale's dad slams Mikel Arteta over goalkeeper battle and begs 'give him a chance'

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    Webb 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."

    On the first matter, he continued: "We see the ball getting very close to the goalline – don’t forget we have an assistant referee who is right in line.

    Do you agree or disagree with Webb's reasoning? Let us know in the comments section.

    "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."

    Moving onto the potential foul, Webb added: "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.

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    "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."

    Finally, he analysed the offside call, saying: "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."

    With VAR in place to only correct "clear and obvious errors", it was decided by the VAR official Andy Madely that referee Stuart Atwell could stick with his on-field decision of goal – despite Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta slamming that as "embarrassing" and "disgraceful".

    His controversial comments were then backed up by his club in a statement where they condemned "yet more unacceptable refereeing".

    The Premier League's Independent Key Match Incidents Panel last week confirmed Gordon's goal as the correct decision. They did, however, come to the conclusion that both Kai Havertz and Bruno Guimaraes should've been sent off.

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