‘Big decisions went against us’ – Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce frustrated with VAR again

Steve Bruce felt Newcastle United were on the wrong end of two key decisions during their 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.

A sublime strike from Danny Ings saw Villa lead 1-0 at the break. But the second half saw Newcastle on the wrong end of two more VAR penalty decisions once again.

Jamaal Lascelles was penalised for handball after play was pulled back following a VAR check. Referee David Coote awarded the spot kick which was converted by Anwar El Ghazi to make it 2-0.

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The Magpies still had a chance to pull a goal back themselves as Callum Wilson was taken out by Villains’ goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. The referee pointed straight to the spot but once again VAR intervened to show Wilson was fractionally offside in the build-up.

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United gives instructions during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on August 21, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
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“Neither goalkeeper made a save really,” Bruce said following the match. “The fine margins in the Premier League and I thought big decisions went against us.

"The offside decision, all of a sudden I didn't think we were looking at lines anymore, lines from armpits and all this.

"You know, the penalty, the second goal - how Jamaal Lascelles [is penalised], his foot is above his head and if you're foot is above your head to try and block a ball you've got to put your arm up.

"I feel disappointed with VAR because that's three big decisions in the last week which have ultimately, in these fine balanced games, proved costly.

“I thought we were on the side of the attacker with it being clear and obvious but he’s offside by what, a toe again?

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"If that’s not those lines joining then I don’t know what is. I’m really frustrated that big decision and the penalty went against us because no body in the ground knew about [the penalty] so to go back to that we feel aggrieved.

"Those are key decisions that could have gone either way.

"We gave as good as we got in my opinion and had a real opportunity to go 1-0 up.

"There are lots of things to be encouraged by but we haven’t got that vital bit of luck which you need.”

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