Newcastle United manager, Eddie Howe has reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal controversies in the Magpies goalless draw against Manchester United on Sunday.
Giving his verdict on Ronaldo’s attempt, Newcastle’s Howe said that his team would have been heart broken had the referee allowed Ronaldo’s controversial goal.
The English coach admitted he was not too sure about referee Graig Pawson’s whistle going on, but was sure Fabian Schar had not played the free-kick before the legendary Portuguese took off with the ball.
Ronaldo and his United teammates thought they had broken the deadlock in the second half after Schar touched the ball back to the goalkeeper to take a free kick.
But as Pope stood there and appeared to be waiting for the referee’s instructions, Ronaldo nipped in and dribbled the ball a few yards before finishing into an empty net.
“I could see it at the time, and for me it was clear Fabi [Schar] wasn’t taking the kick. He was allowing Nick to do it,” Howe told reporters.
“I don’t know if the ref had blown his whistle, but I don’t think he had to restart play.
“For me, it was clear that Nick was waiting to actually deliver the free-kick and then, obviously, Ronaldo had taken the ball off him. It would have been a very, very difficult goal to swallow if it had stood. For me it was clear that the ball wasn’t in play.”
Pope also admitted he was stranded when Marcus Rashford steered his late header wide off the post following an excellent cross from Casemiro.