'Shocking’ - Gary Neville, John Terry & Ian Wright agree over penalty call in Liverpool vs Newcastle United

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Newcastle United supporters were furious after referee Anthony Taylor awarded a late Liverpool penalty

The experts agreed that Liverpool were lucky to earn a late penalty in their 4-2 win over Newcastle United. Eddie Howe’s side failed to end their 29-year Anfield hoodoo as the Reds romped to a comfortable home win. While the scoreline flattered Newcastle, a moment of controversy late on dominated the post-match discussion.

Sven Botman had just pulled a goal back for the Magpies with nine minutes remaining when Diogo Jota went down in the area. The Portuguese forward rounded Martin Dubravka and hit the deck before Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.

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TV replays showed Jota delaying his reaction to the contact, choosing against slotting the ball into an empty net and, instead, falling over. Mohamed Salah buried the resulting penalty to seal Newcastle’s fate and earn a deserved three points for Liverpool.

But Toon supporters were incensed after the game due to the late pen - questioning why VAR failed to intervene. Controversial incidents have plagued the Magpies’ season, most notably in November’s 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain.

The pundits sided with Newcastle then and have done so again following the defeat on Merseyside. Speaking live on co-commentary, former Manchester United captain Gary Neville claimed Liverpool fans were given a “favour” by the referee.

“Oh no, you can't give a penalty for that,” he said. “He goes forward and then goes forward and then goes down. The delay is too great. It's two or three yards after the contact. The Liverpool fans have been booing referee Taylor but he has done them a favour there. I don't think that was a penalty.”

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Chelsea legend John Terry agreed, pinning the blame on VAR for refusing to overturn the “shocking” decision. He posted on social media: “How on earth is that a penalty? Shocking dive! The worst thing is VAR gives it.”

Even ex-Liverpool defender Carragher slammed Jota for falling over instead of scoring a goal. The Sky Sports pundit conceded there was contact but insisted Dubravka did not do enough to bring him down.

“He doesn’t need to go down,” Carragher added. “Just carry on! There’s the slightest touch, it doesn’t knock him off balance. It’s there to be put in with the left foot. He’s gone down far too easily. Is there contact? Maybe the slightest, but I can’t believe a player would go down when they’ve got an empty net.”

As a former striker, Ian Wright was also left baffled by Jota’s decision to go down. The ex-Arsenal talisman added: “Would rather go down for a penalty than put the ball in an empty net. (I’ve) seen it all!”

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