Instant Reaction: NUFC drop controversial match to Wigan

Alex Livesey

A brutal tackle goes unpunished and a handball was missed prior to the late winner.

Arouna Kone scored in the 90th minute to steal a 2-1 win for Wigan over Newcastle in what turned out to be a controversial affair at the DW Stadium. It appeared as if Wigan should have been called for a handball before the goal was scored, but it was not given. The Lactics scored after the ball pin-balled around the box before Kone put it into the back of the net.

The lack of a handball however was not the most controversial part of the match.

The result was over shadowed by Cullen McManaman’s brutal tackle of Massadio Haidara. Haidara, who had come on to replace Mathieu Debuchy, suffered a studs up tackle from McManaman. Haidara stayed on the ground for sometime and was headed back to Newcastle for treatment before half-time. An early diagnosis places it as a knee and thigh injury. The tackle was not punished by any card. Tempers flared in the tunnel though, and as a result Newcastle coach John Carver and Wigan coach Graham Barrow were sent to the stands for the second half.

Minutes before the tackle, Jean Beausseiour scored for Wigan to give the hosts a 1-0 lead on 18 minutes. The Newcastle defense looked confused in the box before Rob Elliot had to fish the ball out of his net.

Newcastle, forced to use two substitutions within the first half hour, found themselves on the back foot for much of the first half. The Magpies were able to get some pressure in the six minutes of added time, but could not find an equalizer before half time.

An equalizer would come though, albeit from an unlikely source. Davide Santon’s 72nd minute strike would put the clubs on level terms. With Newcastle tiring, Santon’s goal seemed to lift spirits for a while, as Newcastle looked dangerous at times late in the second half. The Magpies though could not find another goal. The match seemed headed for a draw until Wigan’s last minute, controversial winner.

Newcastle will try to rebound next week when they are away to Manchester City.

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