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Former top referee rules on controversial Newcastle United v Manchester City incident

1 month ago

Keith Hackett couldn’t believe what he was seeing at St James Park today.

As well as having been a former top Premier League referee, Hackett was also the one-time boss of PGMOL.

Otherwise known as the Professional Game Match Officials Board, basically head of the referees union.

Keith Hackett giving his call on this controversial incident in the Newcastle v Manchester City match.

Manchester City going 2-0 up in the first 27 minutes, then Newcastle United getting a great opportunity to get a foothold back in the game with a penalty before half-time, when Ryan Fraser was totally taken out by Ederson in the Man City box.

However…somehow the referee Martin Atkinson did not give the spot-kick. Then even worse, VAR official Craig Pawson didn’t then intervene to correct this horrendous non-decision.

For Keith Hackett there was no question: ‘Shocking – utter incompetence. These are professional referees. Atkinson and VAR Pawson.’

For Newcastle United fans, the list is ever growing when it comes to the disbelief of refereeing / VAR injustices, three games in a row now…the Maddison penalty against Leicester, failure to stop the game against Liverpool when Hayden was down with a potential head injury, then this one today. Arguably the worst of the three, which takes some doing.

Keith Hackett via Twitter:

“Man City goalkeeper wipes out Newcastle forward.

“Nailed on Penalty Kick.

“Nothing given by Ref Atkinson, VAR Pawson clearly thinks it’s not a clear and obvious error.

“Shocking decision.

“Shocking – utter incompetence.

“These are professional referees. Atkinson and VAR Pawson.

“Atkinson and VAR Pawson need a holiday.

“It was an easy decision [for Martin Atkinson].

“Been a great servant to the game but time for him to retire.

“VAR should have rescued Atkinson, not buried him.

“It is a lack of accountability when big errors are made.

“No apology, no explanation carry on boys you can do what you want!!”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4  – Sunday 19 December 2pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)


Man City:

Dias 5, Cancelo 27, Mahrez 63, Sterling 86


Possession was Man City 74% (64%) Newcastle 26% (36%)

Total shots were Man City 18 (6) Newcastle 5 (3)

Shots on target were Man City 7 (3) Newcastle 1 (0)

Corners were Man City 6 (3) Newcastle 3 (1)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Crowd: 52,127 (3,000 Man City)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden (Longstaff 61), Willock (Saint-Maximin 45), Fraser, Almiron (Hendrick 80), Joelinton, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Krafth, Anderson, Gayle, White

(Alan Shearer speaks for all Newcastle United fans after these key incidents v Manchester City – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s defeat – Read HERE)


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