Eddie Howe’s honest view on contested Naby Keita Liverpool opener against Newcastle United

Newcastle United initially wanted a foul on Fabian Schar during the build-up to Liverpool’s opener.

Eddie Howe has provided his honest view on Naby Keita’s opener for Liverpool against Newcastle United.

The Magpies bench initially appealed for a foul on Fabian Schar after he went to ground following a challenge from James Milner.

Referee Andre Mariner allowed play to continue and in the same move, Keita broke the deadlock at St James’ Park on 19 minutes.

That proved to be the winner for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who moved top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Leeds United this evening.

Mariner was booed off at half-time by the home crowd, with chants of ‘you’re not fit to referee’. Howe, however, agreed with the referee’s decision on first viewing.

“I haven’t seen it back,” Howe said. “My initial reaction was ‘we’ll be lucky if VAR saves us here’. It looked an untidy coming together but I couldn’t see if there was a foul on Fabian.

“Obviously he stayed down and we missed him in the heart of our defence as they counter attacked against us. It’s a disappointing way to lose the game because for the majority of the game, yes they had chances but they didn’t really open us up too many times.

“Martin (Dubravka) made some good saves from distance. I’m pretty pleased with how we defended generally. That one moment cost us.”

The defeat was Newcastle’s first defeat on Tyneside in 2022.