Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe slammed referee David Coote and VAR for failing to review a penalty call in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea. The Magpies were on the wrong side of two highly disputed decisions at Stamford Bridge before Kai Havertz netted an 89th-minute winner.
Newcastle entered the game unbeaten in their last eight games, winning six of their last seven in the Premier League.
And they would’ve been confident of extending that run to nine outings in the latter stages after limiting Chelsea to zero shots on target after 70 minutes.
But Havertz provided a moment of brilliance with minutes to spare to end a torrid week in the Blues’ history on a light note.
After the final whistle, Howe explained he was happy with Newcastle’s display, particularly in defence against Thomas Tuchel’s star-studded attack.
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He told Sky Sports: “Overall, it was a very good defensive performance, very strong tactically. Players were resilient not to give away too many chances, and I can’t speak highly enough about our defensive display.
“Our pressing was good in the first half. We faded a bit in the second half, which is understandable, with the players we have out. We got too deep, and they punished us.
“On the ball, we could have been better, but what has brought us these good results of late was our defensive endeavour, and that was present again today.”
Newcastle will feel they were hard done by after a positive performance, especially given debatable decisions from Coote and VAR.
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Kai Havertz was arguably fortunate to avoid an early dismissal in the first half after what appeared to be an elbow on Dan Burn.
Murphy was then brought down inside the penalty area under a challenge from Chalobah on the brink of the hour mark.
And whilst it looked blatant that Chalobah pulled Murphy down, Coote waved away claims before Havertz later netted a late winner.
Howe was particularly left flabbergasted by the penalty decision after full-time and claimed Coote’s failure to review it on the monitor ‘made a mockery of VAR’.
And despite winning six of their last eight games, the Magpies boss believes they aren’t yet in the clear from a finely-poised relegation scrap.
“It could have been a red [card], but I’m not going to shout from rooftops,” Howe continued.
“But the penalty with the use of VAR, I cannot understand how that has not been given, or the ref has not been asked to go to the monitor and review his decision. That makes a mockery of VAR.
“We are still in a relegation battle. I’m under no illusion we have to respond, and we are looking forward to some big games ahead.”
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