This game boiled down to referee Martin Atkinson and two dreadful penalty decisions, one that went against Newcastle that he gave, and one that went against Newcastle that he didn’t give.
Ben Arfa – waves to Newcastle fans as he is stretchered off this afternoon
And it really seems there is mounting evidence in these games, that the referees are giving decisions in favor of the top clubs, as today Martin Atkinson gave a dodgy penalty decision against Newcastle after 18 minutes, when Mike Williamson seemed to play the ball, but was penalized for bringing down Carlos Tevez just inside the box.
If the referee is to give that penalty than why didn’t he give Newcastle a more clear-cut penalty in the second half, when Joleon Lescott clearly brought down Ameobi in the box, and even the TV commentators were asking why the penalty wasn’t given.
It was a tough result for the Newcastle players to take, as they did very well today when everything seemingly went against them, after Ben Arfa was felled after only a couple of minutes, and looks to be out for months with a suspected broken leg.
And Coloccini had to leave the field before half time with what looked like a groin strain, after Fab had played very well in that first half. So two forced substitutions in the first half but Newcastle were level 1-1 at the break, and were well in this game.
But Chris Hughton fears Hatem Ben Arfa suffered a broken leg during his side’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City today, and Hughton told ESPN after the game about the injury to Ben Arfa:
“It seems as if he’s got a broken leg,” “The news is not good. When something like that happens and then to have some incredible decisions go against us, it’s hard to take.”
“We come here knowing it is going to be hard enough, but two horrendous decisions went against us,” “My first view was that Mike Williamson played the ball and that the initial contact is outside the penalty box.”
Speaking about the second incident, when the referee refused to give a penalty after Lescott clearly brought down Ameobi in the box, the Newcastle manager said:
“Absolutely it is a penalty. We’ve already seen it. Lescott loses his footing and of course – absolute penalty.”
Newcastle put on a brave and fighting performance today at Eastlands, and they were unlucky not to pick up at least a point, but it’s not games like this that are perilous to Newcastle.
It’s not being able to get a single point from two home games against Blackpool and Stoke City, and our next home game against Wigan Athletic in a couple of weeks is almost a must-win game.
If we don’t pick up 3 points in that game then we should all be very worried.