Newcastle United were condemned to a 4-2 defeat by West Ham United yesterday, but there was a degree of fortune involved for the visitors.

David Moyes’ side played well in the second-half, but they were set on their way after a controversial penalty decision went in their favour.

Referee Martin Atkinson blew up for a foul by Jacob Murphy on Pablo Fornals.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
Murphy challenges Fornals (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The Spaniard sold his fall, but replays indicated Murphy played the ball onto him.

For some reason, the VAR back Atkinson’s decision.

No pitchside check was made, and West Ham scored; Tomas Soucek following up after Freddie Woodman denied Michail Antonio from the spot.

Sky Sports pundits Micah Richards and Michael Dawson were in agreement it should not have been a penalty.

And needless to say, Murphy also felt very hard done by.

The 26-year-old said after the game on Instagram: “Work to do this week to put things right.


“Played and won the ball IMO in regards to the pen, a decision that changed the game. On a plus note, it was epic to have a packed SJP and score in front of you!”

Channel the frustration

It was the wrong decision, and frankly ridiculous that the correct one could not be reached through VAR.

The incident did change the game, allowing the Hammers to take the lead for the first time in the match.

The players will no doubt feel a big sense of injustice, but they cannot wallow.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
Steve Bruce (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Instead, they must bottle the feeling and use the frustration as fuel against Aston Villa on Saturday.

There were positives to take from the performance against West Ham, so hopefully a good result can be achieved at Villa.

Some better officiating would not go amiss.

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