‘Has to be a penalty’ – Ex-ref delivers verdict on ‘controversial’ incidents during Newcastle United’s clash with Wolves

Dermot Gallagher believes VAR got most of the ‘big calls’ right during the game at Molineux yesterday - although he does believe the Magpies should have been awarded a penalty.

VAR had a few major calls to make at Molineux on Sunday with decisions over penalties, red cards and goals all made by the technology.

After benefitting from VAR’s decision to overturn Kieran Trippier’s red-card against Manchester City last weekend, Newcastle were once again on the right side of decisions on Sunday.

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The first decision to go in their favour was the call to keep Fabian Schar’s punishment for a challenge on Pedro Neto to a yellow card, rather than upgrading it to a red.

VAR was required to make numerous decisions during Newcastle United's clash with Wolves (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Despite protestations from the Wolves players on the pitch and Ruben Neves after the final whistle, former Premier League referee Gallagher believes that VAR made the right decision:

“I’ve read so much about this.” Gallagher said on Sky Sports News’ Ref Watch. “I don’t think it’s the ‘leg-breaking’ tackle I’ve read about. It’s not a nice tackle but I don’t think it was a red card.”

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Wolves, who took the lead through Neves’ first-half strike, looked like they had sealed all three points when Raul Jimenez netted with less than ten minutes to go.

Fabian Schar was only awarded a yellow card by referee Peter Bankes for his tackle on Pedro Neto (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

However, once again, Newcastle were spared thanks to VAR which overturned referee Peter Bankes’ initial decision to not award a foul on Ryan Fraser - after it appeared he had been pushed by Neto in the build-up to the goal.

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“Perfect use of VAR. VAR alerted the referee and said you need to go to the screen and look at this.

“It’s a foul. They’ve got the decision absolutely right.”

However, it wasn’t all perfect for the officials and the technology on Sunday as the Magpies were wrongly denied a first-half penalty when Sean Longstaff’s shirt was pulled inside the area.

According to Gallagher, a penalty should have been awarded, giving Newcastle the chance to open the scoring early on from the spot.

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“All I can think is that they believe he hasn’t impacted on the forward but for me, it’s a penalty. You watch how long he got his shirt for... it has to be a penalty.”