Newcastle United created their own luck against Wolves by sticking to their guns and playing brave football
and live on Freeview channel 276
Almost everyone inside St James’ Park on Sunday and those watching at home expected Andy Madley to point to the penalty spot. When Pope’s poor touch fell to the feet of Jimenez and the pair tangled, it seemed only a matter of seconds before a penalty and red card was awarded.
However, Madley waved away protests and Newcastle escaped without punishment, much to the dismay of their opponents. Following the game, Jamie Carragher, Dermot Gallagher, Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, Jamie Redknapp and the rest queued up to give their opinions on the decision - with the overwhelming majority believing Newcastle got away with one.
Even the most die-hard Newcastle fan would admit they received a huge stroke of fortune in this instance, but it’s one that has been coming for a while.
Every football fan has their opinion on VAR, with the technology always seemingly ‘against’ their own team and always ‘in favour’ of their opponents. Of course, there is no ‘conspiracy’ with VAR, however, the technology and the way it has been implemented in the Premier League is flawed and Newcastle fans have a whole host of examples to hand about decisions that have gone against them.
Just over a year ago this week, Newcastle came away from Stamford Bridge empty handed following Kai Havertz’s late winner. During the game however, the German could easily have seen red for an elbow on Dan Burn whilst Newcastle should have been awarded a penalty after a foul on Jacob Murphy.
More recent examples include the baffling decision to rule out their opener against Crystal Palace in September after Joe Willock was adjudged to have fouled Vincente Guaita, despite the fact he only made contact with the Spaniard after being pushed in the back himself. The decision to award Fulham a penalty at St James’ Park, one that was ultimately missed by Aleksandar Mitrovic, has also come in for criticism.
Naturally, some decisions have gone in Newcastle’s favour but this weekend’s game proved the motto that you create your own luck at times. Newcastle deserved to beat Wolves on Sunday and were simply scintillating at times in attack - their lucky VAR escape was just the technological icing on the cake.
Furthermore, when Miguel Almiron’s effort 12 minutes from time took a huge deflection off a defender and past a stranded Jose Sa, it became clear that this would be Newcastle’s day. Deflected goals have been the scourge of Newcastle recently with Marcus Rashford at Wembley and Phil Foden at the Etihad Stadium both benefiting in recent weeks - netting goals at crucial times that ultimately saw Newcastle taste back-to-back defeats against Manchester opposition.
But Sunday provided a welcome relief from the slight doom and gloom that had descended around Tyneside over recent weeks. I wrote last week that it wasn’t time to panic and that eventually, results and performances would even themselves out.
That was evident last weekend and came about because Newcastle stuck to their guns and played their football, creating their own deserved luck in the process.