Ian Wright BLASTS match officers for ‘terrible’ Jordan Pickford choice at Newcastle

NEWCASTLE were hard done-by by the match officials in their victory against Everton because Jordan Pickford should have been sent off.

That is the view of Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright, who says that the failure to give Pickford his marching orders was a “terrible” decision.

Rafa Benitez’s men produced a stunning fightback at St James’ Park, coming back from two goals down to beat the Toffees 3-2.

Two late goals from Ayoze Perez sealed the second-half comeback but their lives could have been made much easier had an earlier decision gone their way.

On the 30 minute mark, Pickford hopelessly flapped at a Matt Ritchie cross before rugby tackling Salomon Rondon to the ground in the penalty area.

While the spot-kick was awarded, referee Lee Mason did not even give former Sunderland keeper Pickford a yellow card.

And it proved costly for the home side when the England stopper saved Ritchie’s penalty before Everton went straight down the other end to make it 2-0.

Former Arsenal forward Wright thinks that Pickford allowed the occasion to get to him and that he should just have concentrated on putting in a good performance.

“I thought Pickford got too wrapped up in the whole Sunderland-Newcastle emotion of the day,” Wright told Match of the Day.

“He should have been focussing on his game more I thought.

“How he didn’t get sent off for the incident with Rondon in my opinion was terrible.

“That is a deliberate attempt to take the man out and it’s poor.

“For me it is a sending off and he is very fortunate to be on the pitch to save the penalty.

“It was happening all day with him and the Newcastle fans, the gestures, and he should have just been focussing more on the game.

“He made mistakes in the game and Newcastle took advantage of it.”

Pickford was also at fault for Newcastle’s equaliser when he parried a Miguel Almiron effort into the path of the oncoming Perez.

The win moves Benitez’s men onto 34 points in the Premier League with eight games still to go.

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