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Friday, January 21, 2022

Newcastle Rock Bottom Amid Winless Run

Norwich manager Dean Smith felt the decision to award Newcastle a second-half penalty in the Canaries’ 1-1 draw at St James’ Park was “pathetic”.

Callum Wilson put the Magpies ahead from the spot after Billy Gilmour was adjudged by the video assistant referee to have blocked Federico Fernandez’s header with his arm.

Teemu Pukki’s magnificent left-footed volley salvaged a point for the visitors late on, but Smith was unhappy with the manner of Newcastle’s opener.

"We've taken all responsibility away from the on-pitch official," said the former Aston Villa boss. "He's obviously seen that [the ball] has touched [Gilmour's] arm. He's seen the close proximity he was in and didn't feel it was unnatural.

“If it takes 90 seconds to [overturn] a clear and obvious error – it’s pathetic for me.”

The Magpies had endured a nightmare start when Ciaran Clark was shown a ninth-minute red card for a professional foul on Norwich striker Pukki.

Howe’s team responded well to Clark’s dismissal – although Wilson’s spot-kick proved to be their only shot on target throughout the 90 minutes

Norwich’s best opportunity prior to Pukki’s equaliser fell to Josh Sargent, whose far-post shot was blocked by former Canaries player Jamal Lewis.

Pierre Lees-Melou almost capitalised on a Fabian Schar error in second-half stoppage time, but the Frenchman was denied by Martin Dubravka.

Newcastle remains rooted to the bottom of the table, while Norwich climbs above Burnley into 18th place – three points from safety.

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