LONDON: Eddie Howe believes the misuse of VAR and inexplicable refereeing decisions cost Newcastle United precious Premier League points.
Kai Havertz fired Chelsea to a controversial victory at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, bringing to an end the Magpies’ impressive nine-game unbeaten run.
But that 90th-minute winner was still not the main story from West London, as two huge VAR calls went against Newcastle.
The first, a review of an elbow by match-winner Havertz to the head of Dan Burn, was not upgraded to a red card, despite replays showing the dangerous nature of the challenge.
And the second, which enraged Howe, was the call not to award a second-half penalty to Newcastle, despite a clear and obvious shirt pull and mistimed challenge by Trevoh Chalobah in the area.
“I can’t look past the penalty. I am hugely disappointed with the decision — and how they’ve reached that decision,” said Howe. “It is a clear penalty, Jacob has had his shirt ripped off his back near enough, goes down in the box, clear penalty.”
“How the referee doesn’t give it on the pitch, I can understand that. But how the VAR doesn’t give it and get him to review the decisions. If they did, he would have seen he got it wrong.”
Earlier this season Howe and Newcastle wrote to the Premier League asking for an explanation on decisions that went against them, including controversial penalty calls against Manchester City and Leicester City, as well as a goal that they believe should not have stood at Liverpool.
Will the club be doing the same this time around after Coote’s display?
“I don’t know,” he said.
“I am at a loss to see how they’ve come to that decision, how they have worked that. I think, whatever team you support, you will have seen that as a penalty.
“These things are usually a waste of energy, so we will wait and see.”
On the Burn incident, Howe was more diplomatic than the player himself.
Speaking to NUFC TV, Burn called double standards from referee David Coote, believing that had he committed the same foul, he’d have seen red.
He said: “I thought it was a sending off. I can guarantee I wouldn’t have been on the pitch if it had been the other way around.
“The referee said it was a yellow because his eyes were on the ball all the way. I thought it was a bit naughty.”
Howe, however, while unsure on the Havertz yellow, thinks the Murphy penalty call was what really cost his side.
“I’m not going to sit here and say it should have been a red,” said Howe.
“Dan thinks it is a clear red, he is on the pitch. The penalty is the one I am most disappointed with. I cannot understand, with VAR, how it has not been given as a penalty.”