Mon 20 May 2024, 14:30 · Ash Harrison

'Factual decision': Dermot Gallagher has his say on whether Lewis Hall should have had a penalty

'Factual decision': Dermot Gallagher has his say on whether Lewis Hall should have had a penalty
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The Premier League season is over but VAR gave us one last hurrah in the game between Newcastle United and Brentford.

With the score at 2-3 Lewis Hall went on a superb run into the Brentford area where he was clearly tripped and referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot.

It looked for all the world a stonewall penalty, no clear and obvious error to speak of, but VAR couldn't help themselves and got involved, telling Simon Hooper to change his decision to a free-kick literally on the line of the 18-yard box.

Fortunately, Newcastle still managed to score from it after Mark Flekken palmed Alexander Isak's free-kick into the path of Bruno Guimaraes who stabbed the ball home, but the decision to change it from a penalty to a free-kick certainly raised some eyebrows.

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John Walton/PA
Bruno Guimaraes scored from the resulting free-kick to make the decision moot

Dermot Gallagher has given his thoughts on the penalty incident

VAR ruled that the initial contact on Hall was outside the box, despite the fact that Hall's standing leg was clearly inside the penalty area and only his foot from his trailing leg was outside, just outside.

Now, speaking on Sky Sports News' Ref Watch, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has had his say.

“This is a tough one as I know why Simon Hooper has given a penalty as it looks like he’s been tripped in the box but the replays show it was outside.

“The leg that was fouled was outside the box. It’s a factual decision so the referee doesn’t have to go to the screen.”

Rules are rules but some rules are silly rules

We're not sure we agree with that one, but it sounds like it is the rule, however, for us, the fact that his standing leg was inside, which means the weight of his body was inside the box, therefore: Penalty. Surely?

In the end it didn't matter, but in a week where VAR has been a huge topic of discussion, they were certainly playing with fire there.

The Premier League owners will vote on scrapping VAR at the Annual General Meeting on 6th June after Wolverhampton Wanderers tabled a proposal to bin it, but the feeling is they won't get the majority they need for the motion to pass and VAR will still be around next season.