‘Peter Walton, where are you?’: Gary Neville has Jamie Carragher in stitches as he taunts BT Sport’s expert referee after explaining the controversial VAR decision that denied Elliot Anderson his first senior goal in Newcastle’s win about forest
Gary Neville mocked BT Sport expert referee Peter Walton after explaining a complex VAR decision in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Friday night.
Elliot Anderson, 20, headed in what would have been his first senior goal for the Magpies, but the goal was disallowed after Sean Longstaff was ruled offside in build-up.
It came after a lengthy VAR stoppage, which some felt led to a wrong call when Felipe de Forest touched the ball before Longstaff picked it up in an offside position.
The call was based on the touch being a deflection rather than a genuine attempt to play the ball, which Neville called “bizarre” on Sky Sports.
We need Peter Walton! the pundit quipped after explaining the decision, before adding ‘Peter, where are you?’
Elliot Anderson had what would have been his first Newcastle goal scored by VAR
Sean Longstaff was controversially ruled offside in preparation
Like many Newcastle fans and former players, Neville was not convinced by the VAR decision.
He explained: “Longstaff is an offside position, and the ball is played across, but a Nottingham Forest defender, Felipe, plays it across, so I think that’s not offside.”
‘It’s a brilliant goal, Anderson’s header is absolutely wonderful, but the judgment here is that Felipe hasn’t deliberately played that ball, he’s deflected it.
‘I don’t understand that at all. For me he has definitely played the ball. I’ve been there many times as a defender where I’ve tried to clear him and he hasn’t gone where I wanted him to.
I’m a bit puzzled. There may be people much smarter than me who can explain why that is misdirection and not a deliberate play of the ball. ‘
The former Man United at the time went over the wording of the offside law, before offering a defense of the technology.
“I am in favor of VAR,” he said, “I think VAR is 90% correct, we always focus on the one that isn’t, although tonight’s is strange.”
The decision hinged on whether Nottingham Forest’s Felipe intended to play the ball that ended up in the hands of Longstaff.
Gary Neville jokingly asked ‘Peter Walton, where are you?’ After trying to explain the decision
Newcastle eventually won the game 2-1 thanks to a brace from Alexander Isak
“In a way, I’m glad Newcastle won, because it takes away everyone’s advantage, including the referees.” If that had been 1-1, Eddie Howe would have been absolutely furious.
The Magpies boss seemed taken aback by the decision, as he told Sky Sports: “I couldn’t believe it at the time, I needed to be sat down and explained the rules about it, it was disappointing for Elliot.”
Despite the controversy, Newcastle took three points from the match thanks to an injury time penalty from Alexander Isak.
The result leaves Howe’s team just one point behind Tottenham with one game pending before the international break.