‘No doubt’ - Ex-ref delivers strong verdict on controversial Newcastle United v West Ham incidents

Newcastle United enjoyed a dramatic late win against West Ham on Saturday afternoon in a match full of controversial incidents.
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Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has issued his verdict on a number of controversial issues during Newcastle United’s win over West Ham on Saturday. The hosts were awarded two penalties during the game but also felt aggrieved that their opponents were able to take the lead just before half-time, despite Fabian Schar being down injured with a head injury at that time.

Anthony Gordon was also shown a red card late on, whilst West Ham had their complaints that Dan Burn escaped punishment for a tackle on Mohammed Kudus in the first-half. Here, we take a look at everything Gallagher told Sky Sports Ref Watch about those incidents on Saturday:

Gallagher on first penalty…

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“I think it’s a foul. The referee spots a foul and VAR has a look. Gordon is in an offside position, there’s no doubt about that. But [Kostas] Mavropanos is deemed to have played the ball with his right foot deliberately.

“I listened to the VAR and they said, in his opinion, that Mavropanos has deliberately kicked the ball away and therefore, under this guidance we have, it can’t be offside and Gordon becomes active and can play.

“I heard the VAR say to the referee, ‘what do you think?’ and he said ‘in my opinion, he’s gone to clear that with his right foot’. At that point, the VAR has to back off as the referee has made that decision.

“The referee would have never been aware that Gordon was in an offside position at that point. He’s in an offside position but he’s not necessarily committing an offence. Therefore, the referee says that ball came off Mavropanos deliberately as he’s gone to clear that ball, so the VAR looks at the images, they support his story and so he gives a penalty.”

Gallagher on free-kick for West Ham’s second goal…

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“I think the best solution here was the minute [Lucas] Paqueta takes the free-kick is to just blow your whistle. Say ‘I’m sorry but Schar has got to be treated, he’s got to be looked at and assessed’ and you bring the free-kick back.

“If you blow your whistle immediately, you don’t have, as a consequence, of the ball going into the net. We don’t have this argument. He should have stopped it, it would have been easier to kill it off immediately.”

Gallagher on second penalty…

“He’s unfortunate but as you see he does kick him and it’s a foul. Gordon is clever, he gets in front of him and I’m not sure Kalvin Phillips knows he’s there. 

“But we’ve seen a couple of those this year. He doesn’t know he’s there, he catches the player and I think it’s a penalty.”

Gallagher on Gordon red card…

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“They were all spoken to at the beginning of the season when a referee went into each club and explained that this was going to happen, that there was going to be this tightening up of kicking the ball away and delaying the restart. He knows he’s 4-3 up with a minute to go so he’s just taken a chance. Unfortunately the referee didn’t give him that chance.”

Gallagher on potential Burn foul and red card…

“I think, when you’re side-to-side and shoulder to shoulder, it’s not a foul. If the player gets in front you can’t do that, but when it’s side to side it’s fair.”