Chris Sutton has taken to Twitter to slam the initial decision to call Andy Carroll offside in the build up to Jonjo Shelvey’s goal in Newcastle United’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Thursday evening.
The Toon midfielder was called back for a flag as he ran through to double the Magpies’ lead at Bramall Lane before the initial decision was overturned by VAR.
Taking to Twitter after the match, Sutton criticised the linesman’s handling of the incident, while also praising Shelvey for his awareness.
He said: “Ridiculous flag up from official in Newcastle game…”
The pundit then wrote: “Shelvey 2-0 … why did the official put his flag up??
“Well done Shelvey play to the whistle.”
Sutton is bang on the money here, for three reasons essentially. Firstly, the decision to call Carroll offside was a pretty shocking one. After a VAR replay it was blatantly obvious that he was well onside, and that the linesman had gotten it very, very wrong. Secondly, the decision to then flag for the incident, when he will have been clearly instructed to let any marginal offside incident go, was a clear error on his part, and while it may not have made any difference, it did essentially lead to the Blades’ defence downing tools and allowing Shelvey to skip through uncontested. Thirdly, and finally, Sutton is right to praise Shelvey too. Only he had the presence of mind to play to the whistle, and as a result he got his just rewards. Hopefully, this will be a lesson to the rest of the division on how to handle this kind of situation, because the midfielder did so expertly.