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Bournemouth interim Gary O’Neil regretted ANOTHER controversial VAR call

Another VAR controversy proved crucial at St James’ Park on Saturday – but this time it was opposing manager Gary O’Neil who was left furious.

Newcastle felt robbed a fortnight ago when Joe Willock was controversially judged to have given away a foul in build-up on the winner against Crystal Palace.

But technology went in their favor against The Cherries when referee Craig Pawson awarded them a penalty to make it 1-1 after checking a handball from Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma on the monitor.

Alexander Isak scored from the penalty spot after 67 minutes but O’Neil wasn’t happy.

Although the ball clearly hit Lerma, it was questionable whether he was too close to get his hand out of the way and whether his arm was in an unnatural position.

“I understand it’s difficult for the officials but I thought awarding the penalty was tough for us. It was perfect for VAR to review, I’m just surprised at the conclusion.

“Jefferson tries to get his body in the path of the cross (by Kieran Trippier), his arm swings, but it’s not on purpose. In no case will I give a penalty. If you’ve played the game, that’s not a penalty. I found it hard – no criticism.”

Even the beneficiary, Eddie Howe, was cautious about the incident.

“I didn’t see it in real time and only saw a brief replay of whether it was a penalty or not. It’s never as easy as it seems, but that’s what VAR is for.”

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