Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher slam Arsenal midfielder Kai Havertz for rash challenge in Newcastle United loss

Arsenal suffered their first Premier League defeat of the 2023-24 campaign at the hands of Newcastle United at St. James Park on Saturday.

Anthony Gordon put the hosts ahead in the second-half, and the Gunners struggled to get a goal.

While their performance was below par, Arsenal may feel hard done by with the officiating today as the Magpies’ goal is controversial as they come.

However, they were lucky to have ended the game with 11 men as another referee could have sent Kai Havertz off following a reckless lunge at Sean Longstaff on the touchline in the first-half.

The German was shown a yellow card and VAR checked the incident and decided the tackle was reckless rather than dangerous.

Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher were far from impressed with the Arsenal player, blasting him for the challenge.

“What is he doing?!,” Neville said.

“It is a stupid, stupid challenge.”

“It’s a stupid challenge from Havertz,” Carragher claimed.

“The decision was right, it was a yellow card. I don’t like everybody running over, crowding around the referee trying to get another player sent off.”

The 24-year-old had a better performance today compared to some of his other displays in the Arsenal jersey, but he could have complicated matters for his team if he was shown his marching orders.

He was also lucky to stay on the pitch despite another late second-half challenge while already on a yellow card, but he is not to be blamed for this defeat as most of the players largely failed to step up at a tough ground.

Newcastle were difficult to break down, but they rode their luck as Bruno Guimaraes should have been sent off in the first-half after his elbow on Jorginho.

Nevertheless, the Gunners can have no excuses as poor officiating is becoming a norm in the Premier League nowadays and clubs have to find a way to win no matter what the officials do.

Subscribe for notification