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Newcastle United battled back from a goal down to secure a draw against Watford at Saint James’ Park on Saturday.
Will Hughes had put the visitors ahead two minutes into the game, but Fabian Schar’s 41st-minute strike helped the Magpies draw level ahead of the break.
Neither side could find a winner after play resumed and both shared the spoils, but former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg believes Newcastle’s equalizer should have been struck off by the VAR as the ball had made contact with Isaac Hayden’s hands before being diverted into Schar’s path.
“Newcastle’s equalising goal against Watford should have been disallowed after replays showed the ball make contact with the hand of Isaac Hayden before being diverted into the path of scorer Fabian Schar,” Clattenburg told Sportsmail.
“The incident was similar to Manchester City’s disallowed goal versus Spurs a fortnight ago when Aymeric Laporte handled before Gabriel Jesus scored – and that was correctly ruled out under the new Law changes.
“It is my fear that, in trying to speed up the checking process, VAR has only looked at a potential offside and not the handball – and this is a worry going forward, as a clear infringement has been missed.”
Newcastle can count themselves lucky after the goal was allowed to stand, and manager Steve Bruce will definitely be glad to have gotten a point from the game.
The Magpies have now picked up four points from their four opening league games of the season, and will hope to impress after the international break when they visit Liverpool.
Struggling Watford won’t be particularly happy, though, after they were denied a potential win and three points.
The new handball rule definitely nullifies Newcastle’s equalizer, but the officials chose to check for offside instead, and the Hornets will have to wait for first win of the season having lost their opening three games.
The Vicarage Road outfit host Arsenal after the break, and manager Javi Gracia has got a lot of planning to do ahead of the clash.