The list that shuts down Arsenal diehards' 'dodgy' Newcastle United claim

The decision to allow Newcastle United's winning goal against Arsenal did not make the independent key match incidents panel's list of VAR errors this season.

After Manchester City won the Premier League, by three points, a number of Arsenal fans on social media again claimed that the Gunners were 'robbed' in the 1-0 defeat against Newcastle. One supporter even pointed out that Joelinton's duel with Gabriel was a foul 'anywhere else on the pitch' in the build-up to Anthony Gordon's strike. Another Arsenal fan went as far as to say that 'dodgy' VAR decisions 'cost us the title' despite the fact a draw rather than a defeat in this instance would not have changed the outcome of the race.

Mikel Arteta, himself, called the decision an 'absolute disgrace' and the furious Arsenal boss said he felt 'sick' and 'embarrassed'. Arsenal, who had a solitary shot on target at St James' Park, even felt the need to issue a club statement slamming 'unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors'.

READ MORE: Newcastle bring in a 'lot of new faces' but club make 'very mindful' vow to avoid nightmare

READ MORE: Newcastle owner Amanda Staveley's glimpse of unlikely goal machine as Rafa Benitez speaks out

However, it was rather telling that this was not one of the 31 VAR calls that were found to have been incorrect this season by the independent key match incidents panel. The panel, which is made up of former players and coaches, was set up in 2022 to review every major call in top-flight games and to independently assess the decision making of officials.

On the incident, the panel felt there was insufficient evidence to overrule the on-field decision to award Gordon's goal. There had been question marks about whether Joe Willock had kept the ball in play in the build-up and whether Gordon was offside, but the panel decided by a majority of 4-1 that it was right that it stood. The panel also noted that Gabriel had gone to play the ball before Joelinton touched him so, therefore, it was found that no foul had occurred.

The panel, though, unanimously agreed that Kai Havertz should have been sent off for a tackle on Sean Longstaff in the first half while a 3-2 majority found that Bruno Guimaraes should also have been given a red card for an elbow on Jorginho before half-time. Two other decisions involving Newcastle also made the overall list this season; the panel found that Newcastle should not have been awarded a penalty in the 2-2 draw at Wolves back in October or in the 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest a few months later.