Ex-Premier League referee compares Newcastle United decision to Arsenal v Liverpool penalty call

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has had his say on a key decision that went against Newcastle United.

Newcastle were leading Brentford 2-0 at St James’s Park thanks to goals from Bruno Guimaraes and Jacob Murphy when referee John Brooks handed the Bees a lifeline by awarding a penalty for handball against Dan Burn.

Brentford’s Aaron Hickey headed the ball onto the Newcastle defender’s flailing arm from close range. Burn knew little about the handball but his arms were well above his head after he attempted to win a header inside the penalty area.

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Brooks quickly awarded a penalty with VAR not needing to intervene. And Gallagher felt it was clear that the correct decision had been made.

Ivan Toney of Brentford takes a penalty during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brentford FC at St. James Park on October 08, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I was surprised the Gabriel one wasn't given [in Arsenal v Liverpool match],” he told Sky Sports. “I wasn't surprised this was.

"The minute I saw it, I thought: 'His arm is up that high and I expect it to be given'. I think they're very similar and I was surprised they weren't treated the same.

“The directive is if the arm is at shoulder height and above then it's going to be penalised. Dan Burn, I never thought for one second it wouldn't be penalised.”

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Toney confidently dispatched his penalty to make it 2-1 but Newcastle restored their two goal advantage minutes later as Guimaraes won the ball back in the opposition’s half before charging forward and finding the bottom left corner of the goal from 25-yards.

Further goals from Miguel Almiron and an Ethan Pinnock own goal saw the Magpies secure a comprehensive 5-1 win in the end.