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Howard Webb tells Arsenal they have benefitted from a ‘good use of VAR’

Howard Webb tells Arsenal they have benefitted from a ‘good use of VAR’

PGMOL chief Howard Webb believes Arsenal benefited from a good use of VAR during their win over Newcastle earlier this month.

As ever, VAR continues to be divisive subject among players, fans and managers alike after yet more controversy this season.

The Gunners in particular have been involved in a number of high-profile flashpoints.

Former Premier League referee Graham Poll was critical of the decision not to rule out Bournemouth’s opener in March in a game Arsenal had to fight back from two goals down in order to win in dramatic circumstances.

In February, Brentford’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium was allowed to stand despite referee Lee Mason failing to draw the correct lines when judging whether or not Ethan Pinnock was offside.

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Still, Webb believes the decision to overturn a handball given against Jakub Kiwior during the win at St James’ Park was a good example of the technology at its best.

The Polish international was initially adjudged to have handled in the box but replays show the ball first hit Kiwior on the thigh.

“The arm is moving back in towards the body, it’s making the player smaller,” Webb told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

The moment: Kiwior saw a penalty awarded against him overturned (Action Images via Reuters)
The moment: Kiwior saw a penalty awarded against him overturned (Action Images via Reuters)

“So that ball hits the thigh it might brush the arm but the arm is not in the position the referee thought it was.

“He thought the arm was away from the body, making himself naturally bigger.

“I think the evidence you see on this one, the definitive [camera] angle that shows the shorts move, it comes off the thigh, the arm is coming back in, it’s a good use of VAR.”