Newcastle manager Eddie Howe called Diogo Jota’s draw for Liverpool on Thursday, with Isaac Hayden injured in the build-up, “unfair”.
Liverpool won 3-1 against Newcastle in the Premier League match at Anfield, but there was controversy in the first half when Jota canceled out Jonjo Shelvey’s lead.
Hayden and Fabian Schar had both fallen after being caught in the middle of a huddle as a corner of Liverpool was delivered, with Hayden staying on the ground and looking like he was grabbing his head.
However, play continued as Jota scored, much to Newcastle’s dismay. Despite valid protests, the goal remained. Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the rest of the game.
Reflecting on the draw, Howe said: “I am really sorry for Liverpool’s first goal. I need to see him again but it was clear to me that Isaac went down and held his head straight away. In my opinion the game should have stopped.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing … At the moment there is a lot of talk about head injuries and I felt it was a bad decision.
“It had a huge impact on the game. We were leading. It seems unfair and I feel it has been doubly hard for our players.
“I think [the referee Mike Dean] he told me he felt that Isaac had held his back. For me, he held his head. He was stunned for four or five minutes. It is a dangerous time when we have to think about the player’s safety. I don’t think you want to see matches decided when players are out of the game.
“I feel like we have been treated really hard today. It follows a similar pattern of matches we have had where the decisions have been against us for whatever reason.
“My feeling is the first goal and the decision for that had the key to today’s result and that’s what really pains me tonight.”
Clarifying his comment on Hayden’s “stunned for four or five minutes,” Howe added, “I think you can see from the fact that he had a pitch side treatment, that’s where I made the comment. You can see that it’s been taken care of, then pushed aside and still didn’t look 100%.
“I didn’t speak to Isaac after the game to see if there was any lasting damage from the challenge, but he didn’t seem in a good spot. He immediately held his head, there was no acting. He was down and could not continue and we have some. paid the price “.
But the overall performance was positive for Newcastle, with Howe reflecting: “The players really gave their all physically to the game. You could see Liverpool were moving the ball very fast and we had to work very hard to contain them, but I felt the the players expressed it very well, we scored a great goal on the counterattack, Maxi was a threat in the isolated moments of the match when we managed to feed him with the ball.
“I’m probably disappointed with the second half on the ball. I felt we could have shown a little more composure to open them in those moments when we were in transition.
“But in terms of what the players have given and their attitude and commitment, I thought we had a mindset about us today that we had against Leicester where we have been in the game until the end. I felt that anytime, we would have could have gotten something today. “
Klopp: Trento technique on another level
Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, was full of praise for Alexander-Arnold following his sensational third late goal. The right back took a touch before thundering home from 25 yards.
The Liverpool manager said BT Sport: “It was a blast, unbelievable. His shooting technique is on an absolutely different level. In games like this, stay positive, stay offensive at times like this, take the chance. Thank God Mike Dean is good with his. legs, so he could get out of the way! “
Before the match, Liverpool revealed that Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones had all tested positive at Covid-19, with the first two set to start.
Processing the situation, Klopp said: “The situation is difficult for us, for the whole world. We practically woke up this morning with three positive cases, which obviously isn’t too cool. We await confirmation because there is still the possibility. of a false positive but, for today, we were looking forward and had to make the decision to send the boys home.
“Two of them would have left today, but that wasn’t a reason to cancel a game tonight or even to ask for it, but we’ll see how it evolves now.
“This virus has been around us for so long that it’s not very likely to stay at three o’clock because the kids don’t have much free time wherever they can get it. Most of them are fully vaccinated and two of them have already had the booster and it can still happen, that’s right.
“We have a really good chance that they will make it now without proper symptoms, they have no symptoms, they were more surprised than us that they did. But that’s what you have to accept and hopefully they will come back quickly.”
However, he distanced himself from the debate over Jota’s draw, adding, “I didn’t see him back. They both got up later. I’m not saying it’s like this situation, but very often players go into the box when they lose a match. , but I don’t know, I didn’t see it. My assistant told me that everything was fine, that two players from the same team got together. “
Alexander-Arnold: I’ve been waiting for it
Man of the moment Alexander-Arnold said he had been waiting for a goal of that caliber for a long time, but insists Liverpool didn’t cheat when it came to the draw.
She said BT Sport: “I’ve been waiting for it [type of goal] for five years. I took a few from the edge of the box and dragged them. I took the sweet one and it nestled in the top corner, one sweet hit and put the game to bed. “
On Hayden’s incident, he said: “You’re not really looking at who’s down, who’s standing. But if it’s a head injury, it’s up to the referee to stop him. He didn’t. We played the whistle. and he scored. We didn’t cheat or do anything unsportsmanlike. “
The result sees Liverpool return within a point of leaders Manchester City. However, they opened a three-point gap over Chelsea, who lost points in a 1-1 draw with Everton.
Alexander-Arnold added: “You don’t want the teams around you to do well, but the focus is on us. It’s about making sure we are consistent and win every possible match. The matches are tight and fast, so every small mistake can prove costly in April or May.
“Until we are told otherwise, we will be there every day [training] and making sure we are fit for Sunday, a great match against Tottenham. “
Live Renault Super Sunday
Sunday 19 December 16:15
Live Renault Super Sunday
Sunday 19 December 14:00
Liverpool are at Tottenham on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30pm, while Newcastle host Man City at 2.15pm on Super Sunday, also live on Sky Sports Premier League.