The series of events that led to Jonjo Shelvey’s controversial goal in Newcastle United’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Thursday evening were “inevitable”, according to Gary Lineker.
The Toon midfielder ran clear of the Blades’ defence unopposed to double the Magpies’ lead after several players stopped following a flag from the linesman.
The offside call was subsequently overturned by VAR, but Lineker has claimed that this kind of mix up was due to happen at some point.
Writing on his personal Twitter after the match, he said: “Just seen the Jonjo Shelvey goal.
“Was inevitable that this would happen at some point.
“Play to the whistle has never been more important.”
There are really two sides to this one. First and foremost, kudos to Shelvey for playing on when everyone else around him just stopped. Thanks to his quick thinking he was able to score one of the easiest goals of his career and wrapped up all three points for the Magpies when they were just beginning to creak under a barrage of pressure from the Blades. He followed the new laws to the letter, and he got his just rewards. That being said, from a Sheffield United point of view, it would be hard not to feel some kind of grievance against the linesman. We have been told time and time again this season that the officials are not supposed to flag for marginal decisions, and yet here he was, calling for the game to be stopped. Granted, the referee didn’t blow his whistle, but it’s understandable why the backline froze. Not that the Toon Army will care. A valuable three points, even if they were secured in bizarre circumstances.