NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has slammed the decision to disallow what looked to be a Newcastle United winner against Crystal Palace.
With the Magpies dominant but struggling to break down a resolute Palace defense, United looked to have done just that when Tyrick Mitchell turned the ball into his own net.
Having given the goal, referee Michael Salisbury was then told to check his decision with use of the VAR screen at the side of the St James’ Park pitch. And after some deliberation, he chalked off the own goal for a foul on Palace keeper Vicente Guaita, with the match ending 0-0.
However, replays showed Mitchell shoved Joe Willock into Guaita before turning into his own net.
And Howe was not impressed with the decision which cost his side two valuable Premier League points on home turf.
“I didn’t think it should be disallowed,” said the head coach.
“I thought it was a push on Joe Willock in the build up to the ball coming in. Joe’s momentum is fixed from that point and carries him into the goalkeeper.
“Without that push, there’s no way Joe would have gone in with that force. For me it’s not a foul, if anything it’s a penalty. I was very surprised with the outcome.”
When pushed on why officials may have come to that decision, Howe elaborated.
He said: “I think they (the officials) were swayed by the fact — and this is just my opinion — that the goalkeeper stayed down. And that ultimately led to the goal being disallowed.”
United have now drawn four of their first six Premier League games this season, recording just one win. However, it is a return which does not quite represent the sum of their efforts, with performances and chances created much improved from this time last season.
“Yeah, very much so,” Howe said when asked if he was frustrated.
“I thought the level of performance was very good today. We created chances in every phase: Possession, counter-attack and set plays.
“The lads were very committed to their performance today and were physically very good off the back of a very difficult week.
“I’m just really disappointed with the final action, the final finish wasn’t there today.”
Howe continued: “It was just one of those days where every presentable chance that came and went added to the next one that we got a few minutes later. It was incredible really because as I say, they were all different.
“There’s no way we could do that again if we tried. But the pleasing thing is, we are creating those moments and look like a time that can score at any moment.”
On the flip side, defensively, United kept another clean sheet, their third of the season.
“The very positive thing is we didn’t concede at the other end,” said Howe.
“On a day like that, it is very easy to get beat 1-0 on a counter-attack late in the game when you’re desperately trying to push men forward.
“I thought the players did very well to control those counter-attacks because that is Crystal Palace’s strengths.
“We’re kicking ourselves again really, as we were against Liverpool because we needed to win that game today.”
In just his second game for the Magpies, it was record signing Alexander Isak who missed the biggest opportunity of the encounter.
The Swede charged down a hesitant clearance from Joachim Anderson and raced through on goal, but just as he tried to lift over Guaita, the Spaniard stretched out an arm to deny.
Of the miss, Howe said: “I’ll approach him in an individual way. Of course, you treat everybody as the individual they are.
“He’ll be disappointed to miss that, he’d back himself to score and I’d certainly back him to score.
“Whether he’s gone for a certain type of finish, that’s obviously in his game but he didn’t quite execute it right.
“We starved him of the ball a little bit in certain parts of the game. I think we’re still getting used to how he wants to receive the ball and where he needs to go.
“I desperately wanted him to try and get on the ball more, especially in the attacking third. He came to life a little bit in the second half and had certain moments of real quality.
“He’s had no training time with us, he’s been pushed right into action and I think he’s done very well. A lot of improvement is needed from us as a team to try and serve him.”
Newcastle United are next in Premier League action when they travel to the London Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 11 to take on West Ham United.
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