Wright taunts Shearer after VAR leaves Newcastle icon raging
Ian Wright certainly enjoyed Arsenal’s 2-0 triumph over Newcastle on Sunday. The Gunners icon was seen celebrating in front of Alan Shearer before the pair went back and forth in a heated exchange over a disallowed penalty in the first half.
There were cries from the Newcastle faithful in the opening few minutes that Jakub Kiwior had handled the ball after putting his body in front of a powerful Bruno Guimaraes shot. Referee Chris Kavanagh initially pointed to the spot but was urged by the VAR team to take a second look.
After checking the screen, Kavanagh ruled that the ball had hit the Polish centre back’s thigh before rebounding off his arm and so overturned his decision – much to the dismay of Shearer.
“I don’t think (it’s hit his leg first),” said Shearer. “I have looked at it six or seven times. I can’t tell you, for certain, that has hit his leg first.
“If it’s taken the referee seven replays to look at, then it’s not clear and obvious. I just don’t see it. I keep watching it and watching it. I am waiting for somebody to tell me it has definitely hit his leg and I just can’t see it.”
Wright responded: “When you look at that, the reason why you are vexed as you are, Al, it’s because that looks as though, to me, it has hit the top of his thigh! Why are they looking at it so many times? They don’t need to look at it so many times?!
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“Of course, I am (happy that’s clear and obvious). I am totally happy with that. They have looked at it for too long. It has come off the top of his thigh.”
Ex-Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher was then brought in to analyse the decision and sided with Wright’s verdict. Shearer, still fuming from his previous exchange, challenged Gallagher, asking: “You think Dermot or you know?”
Gallagher replied: “Well I’m convinced it’s hit the top of his thigh.” Shearer interrupted: “Are you 100% certain that’s hit the top of his leg and it’s an absolute howler from the referee?”
The pundit fumed: “Can you answer the question? Are you absolutely 100% certain that’s hit his leg on the replays that you’ve seen?
“Because I can’t see it, you must have better eyes than I have, and why’s it taken seven replays if it’s that certain?” Shearer’s anger would only have been heightened by Wright’s over-the-top celebrations during the game. The pair were captured by studio cameras throughout the match with Wright taunting the former Magpies frontman, who looked less than impressed by his colleague as he flailed his arms around and cried out: “Yes! This is a top performance.” The victory saw Arsenal move to within one point of leaders Man City though their rivals also have a game in hand over them.
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