Mon 1 Jan 2024, 22:48 by Ash Harrison

'I don't think': Eddie Howe was fuming with ref after two quickfire decisions went against NUFC

'I don't think': Eddie Howe was fuming with ref after two quickfire decisions went against NUFC
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Eddie Howe was not a happy man at full-time after his side succumbed to a 4-2 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.

In what is now tradition in this fixture, Liverpool were given a huge helping hand by the match officials in the game being awarded two very, very weak penalties while one clear-cut penalty for Newcastle was completely overlooked.

Liverpool had a first-half penalty awarded after Luis Diaz took a few weeks to decide that he'd felt contact and threw himself to the ground but justice was served when Martin Dubravka saved Mo Salah's spot-kick. Replays showed that there definitely was contact on Diaz but the fact it took him a couple of more steps to go to ground really suggested that he'd bought the penalty.

Liverpool got their obligatory VAR decision

The worst one was the penalty they did score, though.

Sean Longstaff was through on goal in the box before he was clipped and fell to the floor - not really sure what happened as Sky Sports decided to not bother showing any replays of it, and VAR clearly couldn't be bothered to check it either.

That happened immediately before Liverpool went up the other end and Diogo Joto was one-on-one with Dubravka, he jinked the ball around the keeper and then just fell to the floor. There appeared to be no contact whatsoever, and Jota had an open goal if he'd just stayed on his feet. Replays showed the slightest of contact by Dubravka's elbow which was completely accidental and also nowhere near strong enough for Jota to go down.

Eddie Howe was not amused

Like Diaz in the first half, Jota took his time before he decided to hit the deck. VAR and Sky Sports focused on the Jota incident and paid no mind to the Longstaff one. Something that really irked Eddie Howe.

"A lot happened. Action-packed game. We're disappointed with the way we defended.

"I didn't think the second one was a penalty. And I did think Sean Longstaff's one before that was.

"It shouldn't be given. Martin has pulled his hand away. He's had two steps before going down. For me it's not a penalty. Even the first one the contact was so minimal. We feel hard done by."

Newcastle certainly have every right to feel hard done by with those decisions, but let's be honest, we absolutely didn't deserve to come away with anything after that game. We just weren't in it at all.

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