By Russell Edge

5th Mar, 2018 | 3:53pm

Sky Sports expert confirms Newcastle star lucky in Liverpool clash with definitive verdict

Former Premier League referee and current Sky Sports expert Dermot Gallagher has revealed that Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles was lucky to escape a red card after his tussle with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah on Saturday.

The Reds winger, who had already scored once in his side’s 2-0 win at Anfield, had broken through the Magpies’ defence and was bearing down on goal before Lascelles collided into him, the ball bouncing through to the goalkeeper and Salah falling to the floor.

Match referee Graham Scott chose to allow play to continue, despite the home crowd calling for a foul, which would have resulted in a penalty and a red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity had it been given.

However Gallagher says Scott got it wrong on the day, insisting Lascelles did not try to play the ball but that Salah’s touch forward could have been decisive in his decision.

Writing in his column on Sky Sports’ website, he said: “Wrong decision.

“The only decision here is: is it a foul? And if it is a foul, it’s a red card.

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“And yes, I do think it is a foul. The player clearly hasn’t gone to play the ball.

“The trajectory of the ball, where Salah takes a touch, may have thrown the referee off slightly.”

The decision not to send Lascelles off means he is available for the home clash against Southampton on Saturday, in what could be a crucial match in terms of Premier League survival.

Football Insider verdict

Refereeing seems to be the hardest job on the football pitch at times, and Gallagher’s verdict still does not make it clear as to whether it should have been given as a foul or not. What one individual sees, another could interpret differently, which is where the difficulty lies even with video replays and thinking time afforded to officials. Still, on this occasion it has not affected the result, and it means Lascelles can continue to lead his side as they seek to secure survival this season. Would the decision have been different with a video referee in play? If Gallagher was in charge, then yes, but again, it all comes down to the individuals on the day.

In other Newcastle United news, one star man is a major doubt against Southampton while his first choice replacement is also struggling.

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