Newcastle United defeated Arsenal 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday evening, extending their unbeaten Premier League run to seven games. However, the match was overshadowed by a controversial VAR review in the build-up to Newcastle’s winning goal.
The Magpies took the lead in the 56th minute through Anthony Gordon, who fired home from close range after David Raya spilled Joe Willock’s cross. However, the goal was initially disallowed by referee Stuart Attwell for offside, before being overturned by VAR following a lengthy review.
The VAR review took into account three factors: whether Willock’s cross had gone out of play before Gordon scored, whether Joelinton had fouled Gabriel in the build-up, and whether there was an offside infringement. In the end, the VAR ruled that none of these factors had occurred, and the goal was allowed to stand.
Arsenal protested the decision, arguing that Willock’s cross had gone out of play, but their appeals fell on deaf ears. The Gunners had several chances to equalise in the second half, but they were unable to find a breakthrough, and Newcastle held on to secure a famous victory.
The win was a major blow to Arsenal’s title hopes, as it left them three points adrift of league leaders Manchester City. Newcastle, on the other hand, moved up to sixth place in the table, and they are now within three points of the top four.
The match was also notable for the controversial performance of VAR official Andy Madley. The VAR review in the build-up to Newcastle’s goal took over three minutes to complete, and it was not clear what Madley was actually reviewing. Some pundits have even accused Madley of “making up the rules” in order to give Newcastle the goal.
Despite the controversy, Newcastle’s victory was a deserved one. The Magpies were the better team for most of the match, and they created more clear-cut chances than Arsenal. Eddie Howe’s side are now one of the most in-form teams in the Premier League, and they will be looking to challenge for a European place this season.