Manchester City won 0-4 away at St. James’ Park on Sunday but the football scores weren’t the only interesting thing. The home crowd for newly-bought Newcastle United flexed their new owners’ wealth and chanted protests at decisions in the match. The referee, Martin Atkinson, as well as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) both took some questionable calls, seemingly favouring City. So, all in all, the Newcastle-Manchester City clash was full of drama, last night in the Premier League.
“I was quite sure I was onside as I saw the defender running with me so I didn’t think I was offside,” Riyad Mahrez, who scored the fourth and final goal for Manchester City with captain Kevin de Bruyne’s assistance, said.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola thought Newcastle United contributed to their own downfall.
“A good result, not a good performance. We were lucky but Newcastle did not defend well for the first goal and a brilliant action from Joao Cancelo for the second goal,” Pep said, in talks with BBC.
Newcastle-Manchester City Clash Was Full of Drama
However, that does not negate the fact that referees in the match after these first two goals made dubious decisions.
For one, referee Martin Atkinson invalidated Manchester City’s third goal for a marginal offside. But later it seemed to be an erroneous call because a VAR review corrected that judgment.
This overturn left the travelling fans taunting Newcastle locals with chants of, “You should have gone shopping.”
On a quick, related, side note, the home crowd at Newcastle chanted taunts of “We’re richer than you”. “All that money and you’re going down,” the visiting fans chorused, rather wittily, in response.
Still, if Newcastle hadn’t gifted City a ludicrously abysmal opener, and referee Atkinson and VAR Craig Pawson hadn’t refused them a pretty blatant penalty, the two sides would be drawing at the break.
“I am not too sure what happened with VAR and the referee, the goalkeeper wipes out Ryan and it is a stonewaller, a clear penalty,” Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said.
“The physical effort from my players was extraordinary,” he said. “The result looks bleak but the game’s reality felt very different. We’re heading in the right direction … but there’s a very long way to go.”