Sat 28 Oct 2023, 21:12 · Ash Harrison

‘Terrible’: Gary O’Neil slams officials’ decision after Newcastle handed a first-half gift

‘Terrible’: Gary O’Neil slams officials’ decision after Newcastle handed a first-half gift
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images
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Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Gary O'Neil wasn't shy in criticising today's officials after Newcastle United were awarded a first-half penalty.

Newcastle went in at half-time with a 2-1 lead thanks to a Callum Wilson penalty in first-half stoppage time.

The penalty was awarded almost instantly by on-field referee Anthony Taylor, but a very lengthy VAR followed before the decision was finally awarded in Newcastle's favour.

It's hard to say with a straight face that it was a penalty

Watching the replays on TV it was clear to even the most ardent Newcastle fan that we'd been given a gift. The contact on Fabian Schar by Hwang Hee-Chan was minimal, Hwang actually pulled out of the challenge, but in real-time it would have been impossible for Taylor to make that call and as it wasn't a clear an obvious error, the penalty decision stood.

Naturally, Gary O'Neil was less than happy with the decision telling Sky Sports at full-time:

“Second goal was never ever a penalty. Ever. Terrible decision on-field and from VAR.”

Callum Wilson
Newcastle United via Getty Images
Wilson made it 13/13 from the spot

O'Neil made his thoughts known again in the press conference

O'Neil then doubled down on his berating of the officials in the post-match press conference (quotes via BirminghamWorld).

“It wasn’t a penalty. It was a scandalous decision – a terrible on-field decision and terrible that VAR didn’t intervene. They got it badly wrong.

“Hwang sort of has a big touch for the penalty and goes to clear the ball, makes such minimal contact with Schar, hardly any – a glance of the boot. Schar’s already on the way down, Hwang also technically gets the ball before he makes the contact with Schar. So, that’s why it was a terrible decision.”

Eddie Howe was asked his thoughts on the decision at his press conference and he agreed that it's one of those decisions that if it goes against you, you definitely feel aggrieved.

“It was contentious. Fabian’s just got to the ball first, I can see why the referee’s given it. Of course, with the long delay, you know it’s a tight call.”