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REPORT: VAR adds to Southampton’s slide in loss to Newcastle

Djenepo sent off and an awarded penalty. Some day for the VAR.

Southampton FC v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Jon Bromley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Alex McCarthy did all he could to earn 10-man Southampton a point, but a late Matt Ritchie goal gave Newcastle a 1-0 Premier League victory at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday amid Video Assistant Referee (VAR) interference.

Moussa Djenepo saw a straight-red card after Graham Scott reversed his initial decision to give the winger a yellow card for a foul, which included a stamp on Isaac Hayden.

The referee then halted play nearing the half hour mark to go back and review a potential handball, where Sofiane Boufal had not adjudicated to use his arm to clear the ball away.

VAR would reward Newcastle a penalty upon second deliberation, but McCarthy kept proceedings level when he denied Matt Ritchie from the spot.

McCarthy had been in fine form throughout the first half, making a double save by stopping both Dwight Gayle — off the peaches — and Miguel Almiron — with a sprawling right arm — from point-blank.

The goalkeeper then prevented Gayle from finding a breakthrough after Jonjo Shelvey’s ball split the defence, but the forward’s header was knocked down before Jan Bednarek cleared it away to safety.

Jan Valvery, who was restored to the starting line-up, however, would be caught in possession facing his goal in the build up to Newcastle’s goal.

The fullback had the ball pinched away by Allan Saint-Maximin and the winger rolled the ball calmly into the far corner to give Newcastle a 1-0 lead 11 minutes from full-time.

Southampton: McCarthy, Bertrand, Bednarek, Stephens, Valery, Djenepo, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Boufal (Obafemi), Ings, Long (Adams)

Unused subs: Gunn (GK), Vestergaard, Romeu, Walker-Peters, Danso

Goals: None

Bookings: Djenepo (29 RED)

Newcastle: Dubravka, Rose, Fernandez, Lascelles, Manquillo (Lazaro), Saint-Maximin, Shelvey, Hayden (Longstaff), Ritchie (Joelinton), Almiron, Gayle

Unused subs: Darlow (GK), Bentaleb, Schar, Yedlin

Goals: Saint-Maximin (79)

Bookings: Manquillo (45+3), Ritchie (56), Joelinton (90)

Attendance: 30,096

Referee: Graham Scott