What Eddie Howe and Newcastle staff were told by referee after VAR incident that ‘rocked’ Magpies

Eddie Howe has offered his gut reaction to Newcastle United’s 2-0 defeat against Arsenal – and the VAR moment that swung the game.

It is believed that Newcastle’s backroom team were told by officials that the ball hit Jakub Kiwior’s leg. And Chris Kavanagh – who consulted his monitor pitchside – agreed with officials back at Stockley Park.

The defeat leaves Newcastle still in control in the Champions League places and they have a chance to re-establish their cushion at Leeds next weekend.

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Howe put the loss down to missed chances at St James’ Park. Howe said: “Missed chances. The moments were there for us.

“We had a lot in the game. They didn’t go in and we are hugely frustrated with that part of our game. We probably didn’t defend as well as we have for the majority of the season, either. We were good without being at our very best”

Howe also reflected on a stormy game in which Fabian Schar and Dan Burn were booked and Joelinton was involved in a running battle with Granit Xhaka.

He said: “We needed to control our emotions a bit better than we did in the first half.”

Howe also spoke of the penalty incident which left the home crowd livid, as he added: “The penalty decision is a big one and probably rocked us more than it did them.

“It was about keeping the ball better as Arsenal are a big transition threat. But we have four games to go and our destiny is in our own hands. We need to focus on that.

“We have performed so well throughout the season. The players have been incredible for us. The consistency, mentality and attitude have been there. Now we have to go another level and that is always going to be hard. That is the challenge we face.

“When you look at the four games we have, we will need the crowd and to stay united. Incredible support we have had all season. The noise was there today. We just needed to score and it would have helped us take off.”


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