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Iraola: VAR disrespected small Bournemouth in Newcastle draw

Matt Ritchie scored his first goal since July 2020 to snatch an injury-time leveller for Newcastle in a pulsating 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.

Dominic Solanke sparked the game into life after the break, taking advantage of a horrendous slip by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka but Newcastle levelled in controversial fashion from the penalty spot.

After a four minute VAR review, the officials deemed Adam Smith’s tug on Fabian Schar was a penalty despite a close call for offside. Anthony Gordon, playing through the middle in the absence of Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak, stroked home the penalty.

It was a decision that Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola completely disagreed with and claimed the VAR “disrespected small Bournemouth”.

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Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola was baffled by the decision to award Newcastle a penalty in their 2-2 draw with Newcastle.

He said: “I can’t accept the first goal. It’s an offside position. I’ve been talking to the referees and I’m not smart enough to understand the explanations. If we were only talking about the foul, it’s a soft foul, but at set pieces everyone grabs and they’ve not called anything over the season. I can accept the foul but someone is in an offside position.

“The ball goes exactly where he is, affects the play, and they’ve spent five or six minutes. The VAR doesn’t show the referee the wide angle so he can’t take the decision on the offside. It’s very, very, difficult to accept. We deserve a little bit of respect. We are Bournemouth. We are a small club. But we deserve much more respect.”

But back came Bournemouth, who regained the lead courtesy of a magnificent strike from Antoine Semenyo.

However, in the first minute of 10 minutes added-time, substitute Ritchie, with his first touch, bundled home an equaliser.

Player ratings

Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Trippier (6), Schar (6), Botman (6), Burn (5), Longstaff (6), Guimaraes (8), Miley (7), Almiron (5), Gordon (6), Barnes (6)

Subs used: Murphy (6), Ritchie (7), White (7), Livramento (6)

Bournemouth: Neto (6), Smith (6), Zabarnyi (6), Senesi (6), Kelly (7), Cook (7), Christie (8), Tavernier (7), Kluivert (7), Semenyo (8), Solanke (7)

Subs used: Outtara (7), Scott (7), Unal (6)

Player of the match: Bruno

Honours even in exciting clash…

Solanke was at the heart of Bournemouth’s attacks during an impressive opening from the visitors.

Dubravka had already saved from Marcus Tavernier’s long-range effort and then denied Solanke after Justin Kluivert squared one across to him.

The Slovakia international spared Newcastle once again with an instinctive block from Solanke after he had met Tavernier’s cross.

The ineffective Miguel Almiron hit a left-foot shot just wide after exchanging passes with Sean Longstaff as the Toon struggled for momentum.

After the break, Almiron drilled a good opening just over the bar but it was the visitors who took a 51st-minute lead thanks to a gift from Dubravka.

The keeper slipped after controlling Sven Botman’s back-pass and in the process served up a tap-in for Solanke.

Bournemouth’s lead lasted just seven minutes as the Magpies got themselves back on terms in controversial fashion.

Referee Michael Salisbury was advised to review Smith’s challenge on Schar inside the area and after a lengthy spell at the pitchside monitor pointed to the spot, much to Cherries boss Andoni Iraola’s disbelief who felt an offside should’ve been awarded.

Gordon took charge and dispatched his spot-kick firmly past Neto to level.

Anthony Gordon celebrates after equalising for Newcastle against Bournemouth
Image: Anthony Gordon celebrates after equalising for Newcastle against Bournemouth

Newcastle hunted a winner and Marcos Senesi sent the ball inches wide of his own goal as he attempted to cut out the brilliant Bruno Guimaraes’ cross. It wasn’t one-way traffic though as the Cherries continued to throw players forward.

Semenyo had given Dan Burn a torrid time all afternoon and picked up possession in space down the right before thumping a low shot past the helpless Dubravka.

The crowd was lifted when 10 minutes added time was shown and it was Ritchie that popped up to level, slamming home from close range against his former club after his header from Guimaraes’ cross had been blocked by Cook.

Irritated Iraola not happy with standard of refereeing

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola: “I’ve been really upset with decisions in the last three games. Against Fulham and Nottingham Forest they were not decisions that affected key moments but I was not happy with the refereeing. But today has affected. It’s irritating as we’re only going to talk about the referee decisions and not how good my players played. They will talk about the decision and try to bend the rules but it is what it is.”

Howe: Ritchie is inspirational

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Newcastle boss Eddie Howe says his players had to ‘dig deep’ to secure a hard-fought point against Bournemouth.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe: “Another comeback from us. We had to dig really deep. The goals we conceded were tough blows. It was important we didn’t lose.

“We’re not at full power at the moment or our fluent best but there’s reasons for that. They’re obvious. We’re a bit disjointed. We’ve got players playing who aren’t in their best positions. But everyone is giving all they can to get consistent results. We’re returning to getting points after a spell when we weren’t. That was a big late goal. It keeps the momentum.

On Ritchie’s impact: “Matt Ritchie epitomises the character. What he’s given me and the group when out of the team has been truly incredible. I’m so pleased he’s had a moment where everyone gets to talk about him and his qualities.

He’s an inspirational character behind the scenes – he’s someone who drives standards. He’s committed and very vocal. In the changing room he’s the one driving the group. He puts the team ahead of himself. When you see that you hope they get their rewards. I desperately wanted to keep him here last season – he’s a role model.”

Opta: Super Solanke

  • Solanke has scored 14 goals in 24 Premier League games this season, four more than he managed across his first 96 games in the competition (10). He has scored three Premier League goals against Newcastle – only against Nottingham Forest has he netted more (four).
  • Newcastle are winless in their last four Premier League home games (D2 L2), their longest such streak since August – November 2021 (D4 L3), a run which encompassed Eddie Howe’s first two games in charge of the club.
  • Bournemouth are winless in their last six Premier League matches (D3 L3), having gone unbeaten in their previous seven (W6 D1). The Cherries have conceded 2+ goals in three of their last four away league matches, after keeping clean sheets in each of their previous two beforehand.
  • Ritchie scored his first Premier League goal in over three years, last netting against Tottenham in July 2020 – his former side Bournemouth are just the second team that he has scored two goals against in the Premier League (alongside Tottenham Hotspur).

What’s next?

Newcastle return to Premier League action next Saturday as they travel to Arsenal; kick-off 8pm.

Bournemouth also play on February 24, live on Sky Sports, taking on Manchester City on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm.

Saturday 24th February 5:00pm Kick off 5:30pm

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