Many Newcastle supporters have been reacting on social media to comments made by former England midfielder John Barnes relating to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s handball incident in our cruel 3-2 defeat.
Barnes discussed the incident while working as a pundit for BeIN Sports, and told Richard Keys and Andy Gray that he was happy referee Andre Marriner did not show the English right-back a straight red card for deliberately using an illegal part of his body to deny Salomon Rondon from scoring.
Instead, Marriner awarded us a goal as Christian Atsu had fired home the rebound to get us back in the game at 1-1, much to Rondon’s frustration, as the Venezuelan berated the official for not awarding a penalty and a red card while our Ghanaian celebrated his first goal of the season.
Alexander-Arnold would then go on to assist Mohamed Salah’s 28th-minute striker to put the Merseyside outfit back ahead, and Barnes admitted his joy in not seeing the 20-year-old sent off.
“Absolutely [I’m happy],” Barnes said. “Because, of course, they would have got a penalty, he would have been sent off, and Liverpool would have been down to 10 men.
“He created the goal for Mo Salah. Could it be fate [helping Liverpool]?”
Not only was Alexander-Arnold not shown a straight red card as the referee gave the goal instead, but Marriner also opted against showing the Reds’ right-back a yellow card, which former Premier League official Dermot Gallagher feels was where the wrong decision was made.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch on Monday, Gallagher said: “The offence he would have been guilty of was denying a goal – but that didn’t happen, as Atsu scored from the rebound. The referee hasn’t got time to whistle to give a penalty.
“What would have put a lid on it would have been if Alexander-Arnold was yellow carded for handball. For some reason, the referee didn’t book him – that’s the only punishment he could have received.
“He hasn’t denied a goal [as Atsu scored], so the referee can’t send him off. It was fortuitous for both, as would Newcastle want a goal chalked off [so that they are playing against ten men for 70 minutes]?”
From the reactions of these Magpies supporters to Barnes’ comments, the answer to Gallagher’s question is a resounding yes…
10 men and most likely a goal . Of course we’d have rather he was sent off but the FA were never going to be doing us a favour now were they !
— Nathan Moat (@nathanmoat) May 6, 2019
Still don’t see why the deliberate foul play wasn’t dealt with, what if it had been a really bad off the ball tackle causing injury instead of handball?
— Robert Simm (@BobbySimm) May 6, 2019
Should be a goal and still sent off for foul play
— Ben Dunn (@dunntoon) May 6, 2019
When VAR is in play can we ask ref to chalk off the goal and take the pen and play against 10?
— Bear_Size (@Bear_Size) May 6, 2019
absolute joke of a rule.
— HH (@hkh_hkh_hkh) May 6, 2019
FIFA’s rule is stupid that he couldn’t be sent off as advantage had resulted in a goal ,as he had cheated to gain an advantage. The goal is the best outcome as we could always miss a penalty and you don’t always beat 10 men, but the rule needs changing in my opinion
— The Chap (@mickcee14) May 6, 2019
Obviously a pen and red card … even if you miss the pen you have more chance of winning the game
— joey (@joeynic) May 6, 2019
Sent off. In a game against a team that’s better than you a man advantage would have been a better outcome.
— Chris Dixon (@CDixon_NUFC_83) May 6, 2019
He should have still been sent off, ref played advantage but there was nothing stopping him penalising him after the goal.
— ⚽NUFC 1892⚽ (@TheToon1892) May 6, 2019