It seems it wasn’t just us mere fans who were confused by VAR and Paul Tierney’s decision to disallow Elliot Anderson’s goal last night with Newcastle United boss, Eddie Howe sharing his thoughts after the game.
Speaking to Sky Sports at full time, Howe was of course asked his thoughts on the controversial decision telling Gary Neville: “I haven’t had a chance to watch it back. I couldn’t believe it at the time that the referee was going to the monitor for an offside. I’d need to be sat down and explained the rules on that one. Disappointed for Elliot because that was a massive moment in his career.”
You could see how much the goal meant to Anderson as he wheeled away in celebration. It looked like a perfectly good goal at the time and even after several replays there seemed to be nothing wrong with it, but VAR spotted something and told referee Paul Tierney to review it.
Referee Tierney went to the VAR monitor and still got it wrong
Tierney went to the pitch-side VAR monitor to review the incident, much to Howe’s befuddlement, eventually giving the signal that he was chalking off the goal. Even the Sky Sports commentators couldn’t get their heads around it at the time.
For Howe to say he’d need to be sat down and have the rules explained to him again just tells you how contentious the decision was.
It turns out that the referee must have interpreted both Nottingham Forest defenders’ touches to be unintentional – how he came to that conclusion we’ll likely never know as both players who touched the ball before it struck Sean Longstaff seemed to be making very deliberate actions to me.
Longstaff was in an offside position but that shouldn’t matter
I’m not arguing that Longstaff wasn’t in an offside position, he clearly was. But the ball came to him off two different Forest players who were making a deliberate attempt to play the ball, therefore he’s not offside. It’s right there in the rules, even confirmed by Gary Neville and a handy graphic that’s on the Sky Sports match report.
Thankfully Newcastle were able to restore their lead, albeit fortuitously, otherwise that decision could have had huge repercussions on the Premier League at both ends of the table.
I wonder what Howe thinks about it now that he’s likely watched it back. Probably just as confused. I know I am.