Ex-ref delivers surprising verdict on controversial Newcastle United and Southampton Carabao Cup decisions

Newcastle United secured a 1-0 first-leg win away at St Mary’s in their Carabao Cup semi-final clash thanks to a second-half Joelinton strike, but should the Magpies have been denied a first-half opener?

Newcastle eventually secured a hard-earned win on the south coast, but allowing Joelinton’s first-half strike to stand would have made a nervy night at St Mary’s a little easier for the 3,200 Magpies fans in attendance. However, Stuart Attwell, backed up by VAR, decided the Brazilian had handled the ball before slamming his effort past Gavin Bazunu.

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After missing a flurry of gilt-edged opportunities, Newcastle did open the scoring, only to see them pegged back instantly through their former player Adam Armstrong. However, the home crowd’s joy was short lived as VAR intervened to disallow his effort - again because of handball.

Joelinton's early strike for Newcastle United against Southampton was correctly disallowed according to Dermot Gallagher (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes the officials made the correct decision on both occasions. Speaking on Sky Sports Ref Watch, this is what Gallagher had to say on the two key incidents:

Dermot Gallagher on Joelinton’s disallowed goal

“I think it was [the correct decision]. I think one of the good things about this is the referee makes the decision and the VAR checks it - and it really checks it. I was watching the game last night and it checked it from this angle [behind Joelinton] and from behind the goal.

“Does it strike his arm? I think it does and there’s also another angle from the other side of the goal that shows it clearly strikes his arm.

“We know the law now that if it strikes your arm and leads directly to a goal, it’s going to be disallowed. Stuart spotted it, Andre Marriner on VAR confirmed it and the goal was rightly disallowed.”

Dermot Gallagher on Adam Armstrong’s disallowed goal

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“I think there is [enough evidence to rule it out]. It leads to an interesting debate about what happened earlier in the season.

“It flicks off Adam Armstrong’s arm and it could strike his knee or the defender’s knee, but either way, what it has done is propelled the flight of the ball towards the goal and I think that’s why it had to be disallowed, because it led directly to a goal.

“Both handballs have led to goals and both were correctly disallowed.”