‘We know the rule’ – former referee gives VAR verdict on game-changing Newcastle United incident

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes VAR was used correctly during Newcastle United’s draw against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

With Newcastle trailing 1-0 at St James's Park to a Philip Billing goal, Kieran Trippier’s cross into the box was adjudged to have hit the arm of Cherries’ midfielder Jefferson Lerma following a VAR check.

Craig Pawson initially didn’t award a penalty but promptly pointed to the spot after checking the VAR monitor.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak stepped up and confidently converted to make it 1-1, which is how the match finished.

Kieran Trippier of Newcastle United crosses the ball which is adjudged to have hit the hand of Jefferson Lerma of AFC Bournemouth after a VAR check leading to a penalty being awarded during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St. James Park on September 17, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

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Gallagher couldn’t fault the referee for not making the initial penalty call and felt the decision to award the penalty was the correct one.

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“A VAR decision because if you see the referee’s position, he has no idea where that ball has hit,” the former referee told Sky Sports. “He doesn’t know if it’s hit his knee, hit his thigh but his arms are out and we know the rule, we’ve seen it this year, the minute your arms are out.

"If it had hit the front arm, I can understand it not being given because it’s in front of his body but it doesn’t hit that arm, it hits the arm that is out.

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“We’ve seen consistently if the arms are out, if the arms are above the shoulder, it gets penalised."

Newcastle were victims of a VAR mistake in their previous match at St James’s Park against Crystal Palace as a Tyrick Mitchell own goal was ruled out – but this time the system was used correctly and came to their rescue.