They suffered an even bigger blow than a Premier League defeat, though, with goalkeeper Nick Pope getting sent off midway through the first half and suspended for the next three games including next Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
The Magpies won’t be able to field their starting goalie against Manchester United at Wembley on Feb. 26 in their first final in 24 years.
Things could change and Pope might still be present on the pitch of Wembley come Sunday, but that sounds more than improbable with Newcastle reportedly not interested in appealing referee Anthony Taylor’s decision, according to Scott Wilson of the Northern Echo.
The fateful action took place after Liverpool’s own goalkeeper Alisson launched a long ball toward Mo Salah, forcing Pope to step outside of his area to try and prevent the forward from reaching the ball and getting into a dangerous offensive position.
Pope slid to the ground and caught the ball with his hands, leaving the referee of the match with no option other than showing him a straight red for touching the ball with his hands outside of the box, let alone in a quite clear goal chance had Salah gained control of the ball.
Pope was visibly upset after getting sent off knowing what was coming—missing the Carabao Cup final after having started all games for Newcastle this season including five in their run to the final EFL Cup of their campaign against Man Utd.
This suspension means that the Soham, England native won’t be able to appear in what would have been his first final ever.
Newcastle United brought back Martin Dubravka from their loan spell at Manchester United earlier this year, but he appeared for the Red Devils in a Carabao Cup game already so he’s cup-tied and can’t play on the Magpies’ side against his most recent club.
The alternatives to Pope and Dubravka are 30-year-old Mark Gillespie and former Liverpool and Union Berlin goalie Loris Karius. The latter, who lastly played a competitive game nearly a year ago (Feb. 28, 2022) with Union Berlin, is expected to start on Newcastle’s goal next Sunday.
Bruno Guimaraes will be available after completing his three-game suspension on Saturday while no other Newcastle player is banned from appearing in the Carabao Cup final next Sunday, Feb. 26.