Thursday 20 June 2019

Perez ‘can’t wait’ for VAR and hopes Newcastle will be in top flight to benefit

The Magpies found themselves on the wrong end of two key decisions.

Newcastle ’s Ayoze Perez attempts an overhead kick during the 2-1 home defeat by Wolves (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Newcastle ’s Ayoze Perez attempts an overhead kick during the 2-1 home defeat by Wolves (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport

Angry striker Ayoze Perez is hoping Newcastle are still a Premier League team next season so they can enjoy the benefits of VAR.

The Spaniard was at the centre of one of two controversies which had a major say in the outcome of Sunday’s 2-1 defeat by Wolves at St James’ Park as referee Mike Dean found himself in the firing line of the locals.

England’s top flight has decided to implement the video assistant referee system for the 2019-20 campaign, and Perez is convinced that will eradicate the kind of injustice he believed the Magpies suffered after they had DeAndre Yedlin sent off and were then denied a penalty when he was caught by Willy Boly’s elbow.

Perez told NUFC TV: “I’m still thinking about it – I am trying to get calmer now – but I still can’t believe it, can’t believe it, can’t believe it.

“The best league in the world – and it really is, it really is with everything around it – but we are still making so many mistakes.

“The dressing room can’t wait until the start of next season. Hopefully we will be a Premier League team, of course, but we can’t wait to have VAR.

“When you are elbowed in your face, in your nose and while you are bleeding, the referee tells you that the ball hit your face instead of the elbow, it’s quite strange.

“We just can’t wait to be in the next season, VAR, everything is going to be improved and hopefully the beautiful game gets even better because this league, it sometimes needs it with the mistakes we are making.”

Perez had quickly headed Newcastle level following Diogo Jota’s opener, but the game changed when full-back Yedlin was sent off for a tug on Jota’s shirt 11 minutes after the restart.

Magpies boss Rafael Benitez was convinced the United States international was not the last man and should only have been cautioned, although opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo was equally certain referee Dean had got it right.

But Newcastle’s frustration was compounded nine minutes from time when Boly’s elbow made contact with Perez’s face, only for the match official to wave play on, and more so when Matt Doherty snatched victory over the 10 men deep into stoppage time.

The result brought a disappointing end to another eventful week on Tyneside during which owner Mike Ashley revealed he is in advanced talks with potential buyers for the club.

Press Association Sport understands that while those negotiations are ongoing, the onus is now on suitors to make a decisive move and put their cash on the table if a deal is to be done before the end of the year.

That will all be of little consequence to Nuno, who headed back to the midlands content with his lot.

He said: “I’m very happy, of course I’m very happy. To get a goal in the last minute, you cannot disguise, you have to be happy.

“You know how difficult it is to achieve back-to-back wins in the Premier League, so I must be happy.”

Press Association

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