'I don't know the rules' - Newcastle boss Eddie Howe admits confusion over Nick Pope's red card against Liverpool
- Pope sent off after 22 minutes
- Replaced by Martin Dubravka
- Howe confused by incident in 2-0 loss
WHAT HAPPENED? Alisson looked to combine with Mohamed Salah once again this season, hitting an inch-perfect long ball towards the Egyptian. Pope raced out to beat the Liverpool forward to it but, ultimately, misjudged the flight and grabbed the ball with his hands to prevent Salah from racing away. Pope was subsequently sent off after already conceding two goals to Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, putting his side in an unassailable position.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, Howe said: "It was probably technically handball but I don't know the rules on red cards outside the box. For me it was a harsh reaction but I understand if it's in the rules. It's harsh for Nick because he's been magnificent for us and to miss the next game is a huge blow for him. I've not had a proper word with him but I've seen him and he looks visibly upset. He's been outstanding for us this season."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pope's first-ever Premier League dismissal could prove costly for Newcastle on February 26 as he'll miss the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United as the Magpies look to end their trophy drought that has been ongoing since 1955. Martin Dubravka is cup-tied, meaning former Liverpool man Loris Karius could be the man to step in.
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DID YOU KNOW? The defeat made Eddie Howe the first manager ever to lose 10 consecutive Premier League meetings against Liverpool, stretching back to his time at Bournemouth.
WHAT NEXT FOR HOWE? Howe's priority will be to prepare the whole side for the Carabao Cup final as best he can as the Geordies make the trip down to the capital.