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Bournemouth interim Gary O’Neil rues ANOTHER controversial VAR call

‘NO WAY I’m giving a penalty!’: Interim boss Gary O’Neil laments ANOTHER controversial VAR call as his Bournemouth side is denied three crucial points at Newcastle after Jefferson Lerma handled the ball after a monitor check

  • Bournemouth took the lead in St James’ Park on the hour via Philip Billing
  • They were fed back by a controversial Alexander Isak penalty
  • Gary O’Neil thought it wasn’t a penalty and said the same in post-match comments
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Another VAR controversy proved decisive in St James’ Park yesterday, but this time it was opposition manager Gary O’Neil who left furious.

Newcastle felt robbed a fortnight ago when Joe Willock was controversially deemed to have conceded a foul in the run-up to what would have been their winner against Crystal Palace.

But the technology worked in their favor against The Cherries when referee Craig Pawson awarded them a penalty to earn a 1-1 draw after checking a Jefferson Lerma of Bournemouth’s handball on the monitor.

Alexander Isak scored from the spot after Newcastle were controversially awarded a penalty
Alexander Isak scored from the spot after Newcastle were controversially awarded a penalty

Alexander Isak scored from the spot after Newcastle were controversially awarded a penalty

Alexander Isak then scored from the spot in the 67th minute, but O’Neil was not happy.

Although the ball clearly hit Lerma, the question was whether he was too close to get his hand out of the way and whether his arm was in an unnatural position.

“I understand that it is difficult for the umpires, but I found the award of the penalty tough for us. It was perfect for the VAR to check, I’m just surprised with the conclusion.

Bournemouth's interim boss had to regret another controversial VAR decision as The Cherries left St James' Park by a point
Bournemouth's interim boss had to regret another controversial VAR decision as The Cherries left St James' Park by a point

Bournemouth’s interim boss had to regret another controversial VAR decision as The Cherries left St James’ Park by a point

Jefferson tries to get his body in the way of the crotch (from Kieran Trippier), his arm swings but it’s not intentional. No way I’m giving a penalty. If you’ve played the game, it’s not a penalty. I found it harsh, no criticism.’

Even beneficiary Eddie Howe was cautious about the incident.

“I didn’t see it in real time and only saw a quick replay whether it was a penalty or not. It’s never as easy as it seems, but that’s what VAR is for.’

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