The PGMOL believes there was no conclusive evidence to rule out Anthony Gordon’s controversial winner for Newcastle against Arsenal earlier this month.
Mikel Arteta was left fuming after the final whistle at St. James’ Park on November 4 as Gordon’s goal was allowed to stand, after three separate VAR checks.
But speaking on the PGMOL’s Match Officials Mic’d Up show with Michael Owen, refs boss Howard Webb believes the video referee made the right call.
‘This was a big moment, an unusual situation with three aspects for the VAR to check whether the on-field decision of goal should be overturned,’ he said.
‘We see the ball getting very close to the goal line, don’t forget we’ve got an assistant referee who was right in line. […] The VAR went through that diligently and identified no clear evidence to intervene to overturn the goal. The process actually was correct.
Howard Webb insists VAR was right to allow Anthony Gordon’s controversial winner for Newcastle against Arsenal
Gordon’s controversial goal against Arsenal on November 4 was the main subject discussion as Webb joined Michael Owen on Match Officials Mic’d Up show
The Newcastle winger scored the only goal as the Magpies beat Arsenal 1-0
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Stuart Attwell and VAR official Andy Madley deemed that Joe WIllock had kept the ball in play, and adjudged Joelinton not to have not fouled Gabriel in the build-up and Gordon to have been onside as he tapped home.
Webb acknowledged the decision was challenging because of the number of players involved in the incident, but noted the correct process had been followed.
‘The ball does not have a lot of pace as it goes to the goal line, so he is looking right along the goal line, better than any of our cameras,’ he said.
“We know the ball is curved so it can be overhanging the line and we need evidence that it is out.
‘The ball comes over and Joelinton challenges Gabriel. It could be a foul, it might be a foul.
‘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.
The first issue VAR checked was whether Joe Willock managed to keep the ball in play
VAR then examined whether Joelinton (bottom right) had fouled Gabriel in the build-up
The third check was to establish whether Anthony Gordon was in an offside position
‘So again, no conclusive evidence that Gordon was offside when the ball was last touched to him.’
The decision to allow the goal to stand irked Arteta, who slammed the standards of refereeing in the Premier League in a heated press conference afterward.
‘How the hell did this goal stand up? It’s incredible,’ the Spaniard said.
‘I feel embarrassed. It’s an absolute disgrace that this was allowed. For many reasons it’s not a goal.
‘It’s so difficult to compete at this level. This is nowhere near the [refereeing] level to describe this as the best league in the world. I feel sick to be part of this.’
Gordon’s goal against Arsenal underwent three separate VAR checks before being awarded
Mikel Arteta described the decision to allow the goal to stand as an ‘absolute disgrace’
In a statement released a day after the game, Arsenal said they were backing Arteta after ‘yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors’.
The club added fans, players and managers ‘deserve better’ from the PGMOL.
But Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville both vehemently criticised Arsenal’s statement.
Writing on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Neville said: ‘Arsenal and Liverpool’s statements are wrong. Do it privately. Managers and players make far more mistakes than refs!’
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool’s clash against Luton, Carragher said: ‘This is not a moment to jump on the bandwagon with VAR and just batter people at Stockley Park and the officials because that’s not right.’
Webb also noted Bruno Guimaraes should have been sent off for elbowing Jorginho, while Kai Havertz should have been given his marching orders for a lunging tackle into Sean Longstaff in the first half.
‘A couple of situations that in the cold light of day and analysis that we go through, going forward we would expect red cards in both of those situations,’ he said when asked about the incidents.
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