Why fans booed after Newcastle win vs Arsenal at St. James' Park following VAR controversy


Arsenal tasted defeat for the first time in the Premier League this season after Anthony Gordon's strike was enough to see Newcastle take all three points at St. James' Park. Once again, VAR was the focus of discussion after Gordon's goal took three separate checks before being awarded.

Before Newcastle took the lead, there were several controversial decisions that VAR also took a look at. The first started with Kai Havertz putting in a reckless challenge on Sean Longstaff.

The German playmaker sparked a huge bust-up between both teams after he caught Longstaff late with a dangerous tackle. VAR deemed that Havertz was reckless, but did not endanger an opponent and so a yellow card was the correct decision - despite many opposition fans calling for a red card.

Bruno Guimaraes was lucky not to be sent off after appearing to elbow Jorginho in the head and kicking the ball at Declan Rice in the first half. The Brazilian midfielder finally received a booking after pushing his hand into Fabio Vieira's face late in the second half, with Gary Neville on commentary for Sky Sports stating Guimaraes was lucky not to be given five bookings, before receiving his first.

Then we get to Gordon's goal. At this point, both sets of fans feel they have had decisions go harshly against them by VAR and the match officials.

VAR took four minutes to check the Newcastle forward's goal. At first, VAR checked whether the ball had gone out of play as Joe Willock collected possession before delivering a cross towards Joelinton.

READ MORE: Why Martin Odegaard has been left out of Arsenal squad to face Newcastle United

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Next, the Brazilian midfielder's involvement was checked for a potential foul on Gabriel Magalhaes. Joelinton's arms were raised into the Arsenal defender's back, but no foul was given.

Finally, there was an offside check regarding Gordon's position when the ball was played to him - but ultimately, there was no conclusive evidence for any of the incidents and so the goal stood.

Both Arsenal and Newcastle fans made their frustrations with the match officials and VAR known at full-time as boos rang around St. James' Park.

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