Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has revealed the explanation referee Mike Dean gave him as to why Liverpool’s controversial equaliser in an eventual 3-1 win was allowed to stand.
The Magpies managed to clear a Reds corner, though Isaac Hayden and Jamaal Lascelles bumped into each other as the ball was scrambled away. Both players went down in pain with Hayden holding his head and back of his neck.
Liverpool won back possession following Newcastle’s clearance, but with two Newcastle players down in pain, Diogo Jota was able to maraud deep into the penalty area and remain onside, eventually slamming home the equaliser.
Newcastle players and coaching staff alike were incensed that play was not halted to give medical attention to Hayden and Lascelles, but Howe revealed why Dean played on.
“I think [Dean] said to me that Isaac had held his back. For me, Isaac immediately held his head. He was dazed for four or five minutes after the game,” Howe told BT Sport post-game.
“It’s a dangerous moment where we have to think of the player’s safety, but not only that we have two players down in our box, and I don’t think we want to see games decided when you have players out of the game.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was also asked about the incident in his press conference, agreeing with Dean that he didn’t believe either player had a head injury and so the game should have been allowed to continue.
“I didn’t see it like that,” he replied when asked about the head injury (via the Daily Mirror). “I saw a player down. I think when we scored the goal.
“If I’m right, it was [initially] two players for them. I spoke to the linesman outside, he said ‘no, it’s all fine, just two players bounced into each other’. I can’t judge the situation from that.
“I think if he had a head injury then yeah, if we score a goal two seconds later we can solve that afterwards. But we were not involved in the incident as far as I know. We didn’t jump into them, they jumped into each other.
“I can imagine that Eddie is not happy about that. But I saw the goal and had no time to watch it back yet.”
Liverpool dominated the game from start to finish and eventually ran out deserved winners at Anfield. Mohamed Salah’s 14th Premier League goal of the season notched the hosts ahead before a rocket from Trent Alexander-Arnold late in the second half sealed the three points.