Newcastle rescued an injury-time point against Tottenham Hotspur entirely against the run of play from the penalty spot after another controversial handball decision.
Spurs could have been 5-0 up if they had taken their chances by the time Andy Carroll headed a cross against Eric Dier’s arm from close range. The decision was made after video assistant referee consultation.
Callum Wilson stepped up to score the penalty with practically the last kick – and Spurs boss Jose Mourinho walked down the tunnel in disgust.
Lucas Moura had put Spurs ahead at the back post from a low cross by Harry Kane, the England striker’s fifth assist in two league games.
Spurs would have been out of sight had it not been for Magpies keeper Karl Darlow, who made 11 saves – including two excellent ones to deny Kane.
Son Heung-min, who scored four goals in last weekend’s 5-2 win over Southampton, hit the woodwork twice but was replaced at half-time.
Newcastle were cautious and created very few chances as they failed to have a shot on target until the late, late drama.
‘VAR is ruining our game’
“VAR is ruining our game,” said BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Clinton Morrison after seeing the late drama.
And Spurs boss Mourinho clearly agreed as he stormed away following Wilson’s equaliser – although he would not speak about it at full-time.
The decision came after a long wait – with four minutes between the incident and the goal. Dier had his arms in the air while he was jumping with Carroll, with his back to the Newcastle striker, who headed the ball directly against his arm from inches away.
VAR checked whether there was an offside in the build-up and then if it was a handball.
Peter Bankes eventually went over to the monitor and pointed to the spot. Spurs coach Nuno Santos was sent off for his angry reaction.
The Premier League admitted at the start of the season there would be more penalties for handball. And they were right.
Dier’s arms were not next to his body and that is why it was a penalty by the new laws, although football fans, managers, players and pundits all agree it has to change.
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson said on Saturday that it is “killing the game of football”.
Morrison said: “I would take the handball rule away from the VAR officials. I like it that the referee goes to the monitor because the players will respect it more. I don’t blame the referee, I blame VAR. That is the problem.”
We have not heard the last of this.
Spurs can’t take their chances
Spurs were hugely unfortunate – but they will have to take some blame for their poor finishing.
Watched on by Gareth Bale, not yet fit to play, and with Dele Alli left out of the squad entirely, they started brightly.
Kane and Darlow’s personal battle started in the third minute. The keeper pulled off a fantastic double save to keep out Giovani lo Celso’s free-kick and Kane’s close-range follow up.
After nine minutes he kept out Kane’s header from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s cross.
Absolutely! Get all the clubs together and overrule it.
Stop letting nerds, who had to be the ref to get on a football pitch, decide the way the game goes. It’s ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/FciLWX7s6H
— Jon 👍🏻 (@jonhotspur88) September 27, 2020
Kane may have been kept scoreless but he has developed a role as a creator in the past week. It was his ball across the six-yard box that was converted by Moura at the back post.
He has set up five goals in his last two Premier League games – having created all of Son’s goals last weekend. That equals his assist tally from the previous 54 league matches. Seven – back in 2016-17 – is the most he has set up in a Premier League season.
Kane had a 25-yard effort saved by a diving Darlow and then found Son, who hit the post from outside the box.
Son then hit crossbar from a similar distance after good play by Matt Doherty.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 27, 2020
The South Korean was replaced by Steven Bergwijn at half-time.
It was more of the same in the second half as Moura had a couple of headers saved by Darlow, who kept out two Lo Celso efforts and an Erik Lamela free-kick.
Probably the closest they came to conceding before the end was when Hojbjerg almost scored a late own goal after getting in the way of Ben Davies’ clearance.
They were made to pay when Wilson scored with only Newcastle’s third shot on target in three Premier League games this season. They have scored all of them.
This article was previously published on BBC Sports