Newcastle United fans believe their team were ‘stitched up’ by a call from VAR to overturn a penalty – and then felt doubly aggrieved when Martin Odegaard hammered Arsenal ahead.
Newcastle and Arsenal met in the Sunday afternoon kick-off at St James’ Park.
The Magpies were looking to go one step closer to Champions League qualification, with the Gunners needing a win to keep Manchester City within their grasp.
After Jacob Murphy hit the post within two minutes, Newcastle then thought they had another huge opportunity to go ahead early on.
The ball appeared to strike the arm of Arsenal centre-back Jakub Kiwior inside the box, but referee Chris Kavangh was encouraged to consult VAR.
📸 – NO PENALTY AFTER A VAR CHECK! pic.twitter.com/HntF3sJPzO
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) May 7, 2023
The replays suggested the ball hit Kiwior on the thigh first, with the decision for handball overturned, a decision many pundits agreed with.
But, when Odegaard scored a sweet strike minutes later to put Arsenal in front, Newcastle fans vented their fury on social media.
“Stitch up by VAR, had that been roles reversed it would have been given,” one Newcastle supporter said.
Another said: “Would never get overturned against us.”
While a third added: “How is that not a penalty?”
THAT MAN AGAIN! 🔥
Martin Ødegaard with a brilliant strike to give Arsenal the lead pic.twitter.com/VKkedD2oem
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 7, 2023
In fairness, a number of Toon supporters admitted they thought the right decision had been reached, but Odegaard’s strike simply rubbed salt into the wounds of Eddie Howe’s side.
On Sky Sports commentary, Gary Neville said: “Well that’s the best way to silence a crowd. Those Arsenal players needed that, they had a really tough start to this game. But Odegaard’s class!
“It’s a big moment in this game and a big moment in this title race.”
Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka were both denied by Nick Pope soon after Odegaard’s goal as Arsenal sought a quick second goal.