Sportscene pundits Kettlewell and Bartley agree on ‘incredibly harsh’ moment in late Celtic win vs Dundee Utd

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VAR played its part again this weekend as the champions saw of Dundee United.

Sportscene pundits Stuart Kettlewell and Marvin Bartley are in agreement that the decision to award Dundee United a penalty against Celtic on Saturday afternoon was the correct one - despite the call being “incredibly harsh”.

The Hoops left it late to seal all three points against their visitors, with Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada both striking in stoppage time to secure a 4-2 win. Ange Postecoglou’s men had taken an early lead through Sead Haksabanovic, but were pegged back six minutes later when VAR intervened to award United a spot kick after Steven Fletcher’s headed effort was judged to have struck Alexandro Bernabei on the arm.

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Haksabanovic would score his second in the 34th minute, only for a series of dramatic late twists to ultimately decide the outcome. United equalised with just three minutes of normal time remaining courtesy of Dylan Levitt, before Furuhashi and Abada spared the champions’ blushes against the Scottish Premiership’s bottom side.

In the aftermath of the match, however, debate still raged over whether or not VAR had been right to award United a penalty in the first half.

Speaking on Sportscene, when asked whether it was the correct call, Kettlewell said: “I think it’s incredibly harsh, but I think it is. I know I’m getting thrown in at the deep end here! He doesn’t know anything about it. The ball obviously comes in, but I just feel that his arm is outstretched from the body, that’s what the official is looking at. I think you will see this type of thing being given as a penalty in Scotland in the coming weeks.

“Also, the ball is travelling towards goal - we don’t know if it’s going to go in. A lot of people are talking about it being a natural position; I don’t feel it is when it’s that far behind his back. There’s actually one point where his arm is almost stretched out from his body as well. People will debate it and debate it, but for me, I think we’ll see that given most weeks.”

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Fellow pundit Bartley added: “I agree with Stuart. Again, I don’t think he knows much about it, it’s incredibly harsh, but I just don’t think it’s a natural position for his arm to be in, regardless of him going for a header or not. I think the referee and VAR make the right decision with that one.”

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