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Two ‘controversial’ Fulham v Newcastle United incidents on Saturday – Analysed as to correct decisions?

3 weeks ago

Fulham v Newcastle ended with a 2-0 away win for the visitors.

Goals from Sean Longstaff and Dan Burn deciding the match.

Each week, ESPN look at ‘controversial’ major incidents that have happened in the latest matches, their aim is to ‘examine and explain the process both in terms of VAR protocol and the Laws of the Game. ‘

They have picked out two incidents from the Fulham v Newcastle match

Possible disallowed goal: Handball before scoring

What happened: Newcastle took the lead in the 39th minute through Sean Longstaff, but was there a case for the goal to be disallowed for a handball in the buildup?

VAR decision: Goal stands.

VAR review: The handball law was amended in the summer of 2021 to say that accidental attacking handball can only be penalised if it’s by the goal scorer, to reduce the number of goals that were being ruled out by the VAR for seemingly inconsequential touches of the arm.

The ball was kicked against the arm of Bruno Guimarães, but it was tucked into his body; to be penalised, the Brazil international would need his arm extended from his body, or have made a deliberate movement to the ball. Neither were present so the VAR, Tony Harrington, was right not to intervene.

Possible penalty: Handball by Burn

What happened: In the 56th minute, Kenny Tete collected the ball inside the area and attempted to cross it, but the ball flicked off Dan Burn. Was there a case for a penalty for handball?

VAR decision: No penalty.

VAR review: It’s not clear if the ball did hit the arm of Burn, or it was his chest.

But the defender has his arm tucked into his body, so there were no grounds for a VAR penalty.

This Dan Burn incident was never in a million years a penalty. Zero controversy there.

To be honest, very much the same with the opening goal.

If Lee Dixon and whoever the commentator was, hadn’t been so clueless as to what the actual rules were, then much of the nonsense surrounding this incident wouldn’t have been uttered.

It was 100 per cent a goal and the rules mean that it was NEVER going to be ruled out by VAR or anybody else.

Stats via BBC Sport:

Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Saturday 27 January 2024 7pm:


Newcastle United:

Longstaff 39, Burn 61


Possession was Fulham 56% Newcastle 44%

Total shots were Fulham 14 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Fulham 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were Fulham 10 Newcastle 5

Attendance: 18,960 (Approx 6,000 Newcastle – Incl in home sections)

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Newcastle team v Fulham:

Dubravka, Trippier (Krafth 86), Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Miley, Murphy (Livramento 75), Isak, Gordon (Ritchie 90+4)

Unused subs:

Karius, Dummett, Hall, A Murphy, Parkinson, Hernes

(Match Report – Tales from the riverbank, featuring the matchday mascot who went rogue – Read HERE)

(This photo that all Newcastle United fans will absolutely love from tonight… See HERE)

(Why Fulham lost to Newcastle United – Marco Silva – Read HERE)

(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant Newcastle United fan / writer reaction – Read HERE)

(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the Newcastle United players – Read HERE)

Newcastle United confirmed matches to early March 2024:

Tuesday 30 January 2024 – Aston Villa v Newcastle (8.15pm) TNT Sports

Saturday 3 February 2024 – Newcastle v Luton (3pm)

Saturday 10 February 2024 – Forest v Newcastle (5.30pm) Sky Sports

Saturday 17 February 2024 – Newcastle v Bournemouth (3pm)

Saturday 24 February 2024 – Arsenal v Newcastle (8pm) TNT Sports

(Midweek of Wednesday 28 February 2024 – FA Cup fifth round will be played away at either Blackburn or Wrexham)

Saturday 2 March 2024 – Newcastle v Wolves (3pm)


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