Newcastle United continued their season-saving run of form by snatching a point away to Liverpool on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah gave the Reds lead inside three minutes, but Newcastle clung on and grabbed an equaliser deep into second-half stoppage time courtesy of Joe Willock.
The Magpies have now picked up eight points from the last 12 available, and the gap between themselves and 18th-placed Fulham has been extended to nine points.
What did Newcastle defender Fernandez do?
But it could all have been very different on Saturday. 15 minutes into the match, with the Toon trailing 1-0, Federico Fernandez caught Diogo Jota in the face with a flailing arm.
VAR conducted a red card check but decided that a yellow was sufficient.
The Anfield Wrap contributor Philippa Smallwood tweeted after the game: “The thing nobody seems to have mentioned today is the challenge from Fernandez on Jota.
“If we are OK with players doing that with the issues around concussion, then we may as well not bother taking it seriously.”
Had Newcastle been reduced to ten men, they may well have struggled to stay in the contest, and former Premier League referee Keith Hackett says they should have been.
“That’s a red card,” he told Football Insider.
“He’s not using his hand and arm for elevation. It’s straight in the face of an opponent, it’s a red card.
“I don’t know how they can put that into reckless and give a yellow card.”
Transfer Tavern verdict
Perhaps Fernandez was fortunate, but you always need moments of good fortune away to the top sides.
And Newcastle had plenty on Saturday, with Liverpool spurning a whole host of glorious chances.
In truth, the Reds only had themselves to blame for their failure to pick up three points, and the Magpies may consider Fernandez’s lucky escape as justice for the handball that ruled out Callum Wilson’s goal.
In other news, there’s been a key update on an out-of-contract Newcastle star.
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