Former Arsenal & Liverpool stars agree on Newcastle United penalty appeal at Manchester United

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There was another controversial moment as the Magpies seemed to fall foul of a penalty decision once again this season.

Former Premier League stars Martin Keown and Danny Murphy have hit out at a decision not to award a penalty to Newcastle United in their goalless draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

The Magpies continued their solid progress as they battled to a point at Old Trafford to extend their run of form to just one defeat in their opening 10 league games of the season.  The result kept Eddie Howe’s side just one point behind their hosts and within four points of the Champions League places.

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There were chances to claim only a second Premier League win at the home of the 13-time champions with Joelinton hitting the woodwork twice in quick succession during an impressive first-half display.  But it was another incident during the opening 45 minutes that provoked discussion between Keown and Murphy on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night.

Magpies striker Callum Wilson burst into the area and attempted to force his way between defensive duo Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane - but seemed to be impeded by the latter before going to ground.  Referee Craig Pawson waved away the appeals for a penalty and VAR official Jarred Gillett decided to opt against advising the on-field official to review his decision via the pitchside monitor.

Reflecting on the decision, former Arsenal and England defender Keown told Match of the Day 2: “Well again, how many times are we going to say about VAR? I know the referee is from behind there, but that is a penalty without doubt. Varane comes across and blocks his path, and Wilson has nowhere to go. That simply has to be a penalty, I can’t understand it.”

Murphy then added: “Worst decision of the weekend that one, it’s an obvious penalty. It would have changed the game.”

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The former Liverpool midfielder also hailed Newcastle’s ever-improving defence after they kept a fourth Premier League clean sheet of the season with a solid and disciplined display to keep the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes at bay.

He said: “Best defence in the league, Eddie Howe, superb, (he) has done a great job.  It’s not just done with pragmatism, they really had a go the first-half, pressed high, they’re really improving their level of performance.”

The Magpies return to action on Wednesday night when they host Everton at St James Park.

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