Bruce refuses to defend red-carded Fraser and slams ‘pathetic’ decision

Isaac Johnson
Steve Bruce TEAMtalk

Steve Bruce expressed his dismay with VAR’s decision to award a penalty to Sheffield United in their 1-0 loss to the Blades.

Federico Fernandez was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area by VAR, which led to the winning goal.

The Magpies defender was being hassled by spot-kick taker Billy Sharp in the lead up to the incident.

And post-game, Bruce said he was less than happy with the awarding of the penalty.

“The penalty baffles me,” he told BBC Sport. “The referee got it spot on in real time.

“It hit [Fernandez’s] hand but it’s not intentional. It could have been a foul on him as well.

“VAR is supposed to be for clear and obvious decisions. How someone 300 miles away on a TV screen can overturn it is beyond me.

“You know when the referee goes to the screen it will be a penalty – it’s pathetic. It’s beyond me.”

Newcastle had Ryan Fraser dismissed in the first-half after picking up two bookings in three minutes.

Bruce conceded that it was the right call to hand his player two yellow cards. He did however take issue with a challenge star man Sharp made during the game.

He continued: “I’ve got no issues with the red card – we can’t argue with that and you can’t argue with how poor we are in the first half.

“Then there’s a horror challenge by Billy Sharp, that should be a straight red card.

“It’s blatant. They didn’t check it. It’s laughable the whole VAR situation and I don’t think anyone enjoys it.

“I’m struggling to cope with it. Week in week out, it’s ruining the game.”

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Poor night for Newcastle

Ryan Fraser TEAMtalk

Newcastle have become the first Premier League side to lose to Sheffield United this season.

The Magpies were forced to defend for large parts of the game, even before the sending off.

They did have their chances, though. Both of their best opportunities fell to Callum Wilson but he was unable to convert either time.

They almost stole a point right at the end when Jayden Bogle nearly chested the ball into his own net but that was about as good as it got for Bruce’s men.

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