Leaked audio reportedly from VAR during Newcastle’s clash with Arsenal sheds light on why Bruno Guimaraes escaped a red card despite a controversial collision with Jorginho.
The contentious match at St James’ Park saw a series of debated incidents, notably Anthony Gordon’s goal necessitating a thorough VAR review over multiple potential fouls. Among these were incidents involving Guimaraes and Kai Havertz that raised red card possibilities.
In the recent Match Officials Mic’d Up release, the focus centered on Gordon’s goal, revealing audio from the intensive VAR examination.
VAR official Andy Madley grappled with inconclusive angles, failing to decisively determine if the ball crossed the line before Joe Willock’s cross.
Moreover, the review struggled to establish clear contact with the ball, impeding the offside assessment.
A third debated incident involved a potential push by Joelinton on defender Gabriel Magalhaes. Despite scrutiny from both VAR and assistant VAR, the officials deemed the contact insufficient to warrant overturning the on-field decision of the goal.
While the VAR conversations regarded the two potential red cards for Guimaraes and Havertz were not shown, PGMOL chief Howard Webb did concede that both players should have been given their marching orders.
‘A couple of situations that in the cold light of day, analysis that we go through, going forward we would expect red cards in both of those situations,’ said Webb.
But now VAR audio allegedly from the Guimaraes incident has leaked online via the ‘leakedlineups’ Instagram account, with PGMOL refusing to comment on the audio despite being given the opportunity to do so by Mail Sport.
In the clip, Madley and assistant VAR Stuart Burt, as well as on-pitch referee Stuart Atwell, can all be heard discussing the Guimaraes elbow. Atwell says he ‘has not seen’ what happened, before the two VAR officials both analyse the incident and decide it does not merit a red.
Madley begins the discussion over the offence, saying: ‘I’m just going to check potential serious foul play. He goes into the player… so he lifts his arm up because he’s going into the defender, for me.
‘Just have a look at this for me Stu (AVAR) as well mate. So he sees the player, he puts his arm up and there’s a glancing blow on the side of his head but for me that’s not used as a weapon.
‘That’s not violent conduct. Are you happy with that as well?’
Burt replies: ‘Yeah, it’s not nice but I don’t think it’s any more than a yellow card mate.’
Madley then adds: ‘Yeah, it doesn’t reach the threshold. Stuart (Attwell – referee) it’s check complete, check complete.’
The Premier League’s Independent Key Match Incidents Panel reviewed the decisions and voted 3-2 that Guimaraes’ arm to the head of Jorginho should have resulted in a red card, while they were unanimous that Havertz should have been sent off.
Below is the supposed audio from VAR:
The VAR check for Bruno Guimarães’ elbow on Jorginho.pic.twitter.com/91ptGUqCJj
— Gunners (@Gunnersc0m) November 15, 2023