Eddie Howe claimed it was ‘clear’ Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal against Newcastle United was right to be disallowed in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
The Magpies came away with a well-earned point against Manchester United, but it was a game that involved several controversial referee decisions. In the second period, Craig Pawson ruled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal after the Portugal attacker converted into an open goal from around 30 yards.
Just seconds before, Fabian Schar had passed Nick Pope the ball in order for the goalkeeper to take a free-kick. But Ronaldo felt Schar’s original pass was the set-piece being played, and therefore meant the ball was now active. Yet Pawson disagreed, and ruled out the goal while booking Ronaldo for his protestantions in the aftermath of the incident.
Speaking after the game, Howe claimed the referee had come to the correct decision. “It was clear Fabby wasn’t taking the kick,” opined the Newcastle boss. “I don’t know if the ref had blown his whistle to restart play. I don’t think he had.
“For me, it was clear that Nick was waiting to deliver the free-kick and Ronaldo has taken the ball off him. It would have been a very, very difficult goal to swallow had that stood. It was clear to me the ball wasn’t in play.”
While Howe was in agreement with Pawson regarding Ronaldo’s goal, the former Bournemouth manager felt the official did not come to the correct decision when Raphael Varane made contact with Callum Wilson inside the United box during the first half. Howe said in his post-match press conference that United were fortunate to not concede a penalty.
“I thought it was a strong shout for a penalty,” he claimed. “Callum looked like he caught the lad’s calf when running. I’ve seen them given [on] another day.”