By Keith Hackett

29th Nov, 2021 | 8:30pm

Ex-Fifa referee issues 'harsh' verdict after analysing Newcastle controversy from every angle

Newcastle United should have been awarded a penalty in their 2-0 loss to Arsenal for Nuno Tavares’ challenge on Callum Wilson, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee admitted it might have been “harsh” on Arsenal but the contact was sufficient to knock Wilson off balance.

The Newcastle number nine had been played in behind by Jonjo Shelvey and look set to have a shot on goal before being brought down by Tavares, as shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme.

Eddie Howe told the BBC the incident “decided” the game as Arsenal scored their second goal in the aftermath.

Asked for his assessment of the incident after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I thought it was a penalty. It might seem harsh but he’s been fouled. 

“When a player is moving at speed, like any object moving at speed, like the rocket that was sent up to deflect the asteroid, they say it’s only got to touch it to make the deflection. This is what has happened here. 

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“Wilson has had a nudge and that nudge is sufficient for him to go to the ground. Ok, it was theatrical and that may have not had a good impact on the referee.

“It seems on the day Stuart Atwell decided he wasn’t going to give a penalty kick.”

A penalty would have given Wilson the opportunity to net his fifth Premier League goal of the season.

After scoring four times in his first five league games of the season he has not found the net in Newcastle’s last four fixtures.

In other news, some Newcastle United stars will be left ‘annoyed’ by Eddie Howe’s training HQ ban.