Leicester City boss furious at what Newcastle United star did during goalless draw
Newcastle United benefitted from a controversial referee decision as they sealed Champions League qualification against Leicester City on Monday.
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Needing just a draw to seal Champions League qualification, the Magpies were almost reduced to 10 men in the eighth minute when Guimaraes’ studs connected with Soumare’s knee.
Referee Andre Marriner awarded a yellow card and VAR chose not to intervene. Eddie Howe’s side resumed as normal to see out a goalless draw and secure a return to Europe’s elite for the first time in 20 years.
“[It] could have been a very different game. I do feel Bruno could have been sent off, I don’t think anyone would have had any complaints if that was a red rather than a yellow,” said Smith, “And I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have got overturned as well.
“It was a dangerous lunge that dangered the opponent. I don’t think the referee felt there was enough force for a red card.
“Maybe we’ll get the comms from Howard Webb (PGMOL chief refereeing officer) in the next few days on a show or something.”
Smith dropped the likes of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes in favour of fielding a five-man defence. Leicester failed to register a shot on target until injury time when Nick Pope did superbly to keep out Timothy Castagne’s effort.
“I make no apologies for the way we set up today,” Smith said. “We haven’t kept a clean sheet in so long and we are where we are because of that.
“My mind was made up when I watched Newcastle play Brighton on Thursday. Brighton are one of the best footballing teams in the league this season and in that first 25 minutes, they steamrolled them.
“They’re such a threat from Tripps’ set pieces and the height and power they have in there. That was my mind made up that we had to go to a back five.
“We had to make sacrifices with the team sheet today and the players would make an impact off the bench. It almost worked to plan but the goalkeeper made a good save in the 90th minute.”
The Foxes need to beat West Ham United on the last day of the campaign and hope Everton slip up at home to Bournemouth in order to retain their Premier League status.
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