Soccer

Nuno Espirito Santo frustrated as Nottingham Forest denied ‘clear penalty’

VAR did not intervene after Taiwo Awoniyi appeared to be brought down by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Taiwo Awoniyi tangles with diving Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka
Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi, top, tangles with diving Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka Taiwo Awoniyi tangles with diving Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (Richard Sellers/PA)

Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo cannot understand why VAR did not intervene and award his side a penalty in their 3-2 defeat to Newcastle.

Taiwo Awoniyi appeared to be tripped by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka with the score at 2-2 but referee Anthony Taylor waved away protests and VAR did not overrule, despite replays showing contact was made.

Three minutes later Bruno Guimaraes scored his second of the game to inflict another defeat for Forest which sees them teetering just two points above the relegation zone.

Nuno Espirito Santo was baffled by the decision not to award his side a penalty
Nuno Espirito Santo Nuno Espirito Santo was baffled by the decision not to award his side a penalty (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Nuno was in no doubt the penalty incident was the decisive moment in the game.

“Yes, it was a clear penalty, I saw it over and over again, for me it is a clear penalty,” he said. “Have you seen the image? I saw the replay over and over again.

“I think Anthony Taylor maybe doesn’t have a clear view of the incident because it is from behind but when you have the chance for VAR to check it, I think it is so obvious, that is why I don’t understand the decision. It is clear, the ball is still in play.

“We came from behind twice, it is very hard against a good team and you have a clear chance to go in front. We don’t know what will happen but it clearly changed the history of the game. That was a decisive moment for sure.

“I am frustrated, sad, disappointed because we played well and we created a lot of situations with the pace and speed. I am disappointed because we did so many things right and so few things that really cost us.”

Guimaraes’ first goal since September put Newcastle into an early lead but Forest levelled through Anthony Elanga and then Fabian Schar’s goal from a set-piece was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Callum Hudson-Odoi’s deflected effort.

Bruno Guimaraes was Newcastle’s match-winner
Bruno Guimaraes Bruno Guimaraes was Newcastle’s match-winner (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Awoniyi appeared to have been felled just after the hour and three minutes later Guimaraes fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to boost Newcastle’s European hopes.

“It was a tough game, we knew it was going to be,” Magpies manager Eddie Howe said.

“I am really pleased with the first half, to come in at 2-2 was difficult, we were really good and switched off a couple of times and got punished.

“The second half was tough, Forest were up and we had to show a different side to our game and the second half was about spirit.

“We are still getting challenges left, right and centre but we are managing to come through those and today was a massive result for us, it gives us a real big high off the back off last week where there were positives but the result was not good.

“The players just keep giving more and I couldn’t be prouder of the lads tonight.”