By Keith Hackett

7th Sep, 2021 | 4:00pm

Hackett: Newcastle star Hendrick has been victim of major injustice

Newcastle United star Jeff Hendrick did not deserve to give away a penalty in the Republic of Ireland’s 2-1 defeat to Portugal, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-FIFA and Premier League official admitted he was happy to see Cristiano Ronaldo not score the resulting spot-kick.

Hendrick was sold short by Gavin Bazunu’s pass and dived into a challenge with Bruno Fernandes but Bazunu saved the penalty.

Ireland took the lead just before half-time but Ronaldo scored a late brace to give Portugal the three points.

Those goals also meant the Man United star became the all-time record goalscorer in men’s international football.

Asked for his verdict on the penalty, Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “The penalty kick decision, for me, wasn’t a penalty.

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“I was, in a way, glad that Ronaldo did not score.

“I just cannot understand why it took so long to make the decision. When I gave penalty kicks I was instant and I was definite. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a penalty kick and I wouldn’t blow.

“This guy delays the process forever. Then he’s not even trying to convince anybody. His body language is negative. He’s walking around, attracting players too him. It’s almost like he’s saying ‘Am I sure about the decision?'”

“The referee has got to learn from that. One, if you award a penalty kick, be definite and sell it in a positive manner.

“If players start to question your decision and surround you then a yellow card is coming out.

“He took too long and didn’t back up his decision with his body language.”

In other news, PiF may have been consulted as Newcastle United sign off on a new deal.