Former referee disagrees with Bournemouth manager over ‘harsh’ Newcastle United penalty decision

The decision caused a difference of opinion at St James Park.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes the decision to award a penalty to Newcastle United in Saturday’s draw with Bournemouth was correct.

The Magpies had fallen behind just after the hour-mark to a Philip Billing goal when they were handed a chance to restore parity from the spot when Kieran Trippier’s attempted cross struck the hand of Cherries midfielder Jefferson Lerma.

A corner-kick was initially signalled by referee Craig Pawson - but he then gave a penalty after being instructed to review the decision by VAR official Stuart Atwell.

Magpies record signing Alexander Isak scored his first St James Park goal from the resulting spot-kick - and that left Bournemouth caretaker manager Gary O’Neil somewhat frustrated in his post-match press conference.

He said: “I understand it’s difficult. That is the perfect situation for VAR as there is no way the referee could see that live.

“I understand it going to VAR but really surprised by the conclusion they’ve come to. Jefferson Lerma has gone to put his body in the way of the ball and his arm swings as it does when you’re moving. He’s not looking at it.

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“I was surprised. If I was looking at the VAR images, there is no way I’d have given a penalty.

“That’s not criticism at all, it’s just my opinion, I thought it was harsh.”

However, former Premier League official Gallagher believes the eventual decision was the correct one and insisted VAR had worked in the correct manner by awarding the penalty to Eddie Howe’s side.

He told Sky Sports: “Yes, and I also think a VAR decision because if you see the referee’s position, he has no idea where that ball has hit.

“He doesn’t know if it has hit his knee or his thigh, he doesn’t know his arm is out.

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“We know the rule, we’ve seen it this year.  If it 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 one that is out.

“We’ve seen it consistently, and that’s the word you use to me all of the time, we have seen consistently if the arms are out, if they are above the shoulder, it gets penalised.”