Allan Saint-Maximin reacts to ‘ridiculous’ decision in Newcastle United’s win at Leeds United

Newcastle United were denied a penalty against Leeds United when Allan Saint-Maximin went to ground under a challenge from Robin Koch.

Allan Saint-Maximin feels he should have been awarded a penalty in Newcastle United’s 1-0 victory at Leeds.

The incident arrived in the 80th minute, just five minutes after Eddie Howe’s side took the lead via Jonjo Shelvey’s free-kick.

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Saint-Maximin, seeking to give his side breathing space, raced one-on-one with Robin Koch before the Frenchman went to ground in the area.

Match referee Chris Kavanagh waved play on despite United appeals and Kevin Friend, the VAR official at Stockley Park, agreed with the on-field decision.

That was despite replays showing Koch had kicked Saint-Maximin’s right foot.

Eddie Howe and his backroom staff were baffled on the touchline, as were supporters inside Elland Road and on social media.

Responding to a fan on Twitter who said “definitely a pen Allan”, Saint-Maximin replied “I know” with a confused face emoji.

Indeed, United have had their fair share of VAR decisions go against them this season, though luckily this one wasn’t to prove as costly as United held on for a vital three points.

Howe’s men are two points from Premier League and now jet off to Saudi Arabia for a warm-weather training camp ahead of the next game against Everton on February 8.

What have pundits said about the decision?

BBC Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy believed it was a “ridiculous decision” not to award Saint-Maximin a penalty.

The former Liverpool and Fulham midfielder said: “That is a penalty, I don’t know how he’s missed it.

“You can see the touch (from Koch). I can’t give you any explanation, just a ridiculous decision.

“Thankfully for Newcastle, it wasn’t relevant in terms of the final scoreline.”

Meanwhile, Tim Sherwood, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa manager, told SkySports: “For me, that’s a penalty.

“Chris Kavanagh doesn’t give the penalty. Obviously, VAR looked at it and check complete, no penalty in their opinion.

“If he would have given it on-field, they certainly wouldn’t have overturned it.”