Newcastle United may have got away with one during their win over Wolves on Sunday, according to a former Premier League referee.
The Magpies picked up a much-needed three points against relegation-battling Wolves, with Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron on target in the 2-1 St James’ Park win. The win means Eddie Howe’s men end their run of five games without a win across all competitions, while they also remain within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham with two games in hand.
But there was on particular moment of controversy during the game, and one that left Wolves furious. Newcastle keeper Nick Pope completely misjudged a touch, allowing Raul Jimenez to get inside and proceed towards an unguarded goal. In a desperate attempt to get back into position on time, Pope appeared to check Jimenez, who fell to the ground, appealing for a penalty.
The decision not to give a penalty was not recommended for on-pitch review by VAR, and both Pope and Newcastle were left breathing a sigh of relief. But according to ex-Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher, the decision was an incorrect one.
"I think it's a foul," Dermot said on Sky Sports News. "Pope misjudges the ball, Jimenez nicks the ball off him and I then think Pope leans into him. All he is going to do is impede him and I think he does - I think it's a penalty."
If a penalty had been given, there would also have been a case for Pope to be sent off. Asked about that possibility, Gallagher added: “The argument then is where is the ball, where's his travel going to go. But what I would say, is that it's a penalty."
Thankfully for Newcastle, nothing was given, and they were allowed to go on and win the game, aiding their top four hopes in the process.