By Keith Hackett

14th Dec, 2021 | 7:00am

Hackett: 'This is why VAR introduced' as 'blatant' Maddison footage emerges from Newcastle clash

Newcastle United were the victims of a “blatant” dive by Leicester City’s James Maddison yesterday (12 December).

So says ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the Magpies’ 4-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium.

The scores were level five minutes from half-time when Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles appeared to fell Maddison as he jinked into the area.

Referee Peter Banks pointed to the spot, where Youri Tielemans converted after a review from VAR official Paul Tierney.

But after analysing footage of the incident posted by Sky Sports, Hackett insists that the officials failed to notice that Maddison took a dive.

“Initially, I thought it was a penalty because of the referee’s position,” he told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitely.

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“But on replay, it was a dive. It was a blatant act of simulation and the referee and VAR have bought it.

“Tierney, who was on VAR, is a pretty good official. Peter Banks is relatively new on the list and learning his craft.

“But you see Maddison going to ground before any contact is made. He manufactures contact by holding a leg out.

“It’s not a penalty kick today, tomorrow, or any other day. They got it wrong.

“I’m not undermining the fact that this is a difficult area for officials, but this is why VAR was introduced.

“VARs have got to improve their performances.”

Maddison, who notched a goal and an assist in the second half, was named man of the match for his performance.

The 4-0 thumping leaves Eddie Howe’s side three points from safety with Liverpool, Man City and Man United to play in their next three matches.

In other news, Kieran Maguire predicts Newcastle United could land deal worth “tens of millions” after pictures emerge.