Newcastle United’s unbeaten Premier League run was ended by Liverpool on Saturday night, but the biggest disappointment for the Magpies was Nick Pope‘s first half red card.
The Reds scored twice early courtesy of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, blowing Newcastle away despite a promising start from Eddie Howe’s side.
But a moment of madness from Pope in the 22nd minute sealed our fate. Alisson looked to play Mo Salah in with a long punt up the pitch, forcing the Toon goalkeeper to rush out and try to intercept it.
It appeared as if the 30-year-old tried to clear it with a diving header, but missed before handling it. Referee Anthony Taylor immediately brandished a red card, reducing Newcastle to 10 men.
However, the real crushing blow is that he will miss next weekend’s Carabao Cup final. That is absolutely devastating, both for the team and the player.
Alan Shearer feels for Nick Pope after red card
After the incident, Newcastle legend Alan Shearer took to Twitter to give his view on what happened.
He wrote: “I know it’s the correct decision but I feel for Nick Pope.”
I know it’s the correct decision but I feel for Nick Pope. #NEWLIV
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) February 18, 2023
Shearer sums it up pretty well. Obviously it is gutting for supporters to know that we will be without our first choice goalkeeper for our first cup final since 1999. However, it must be even more upsetting for Pope.
He has been enjoying a sensational season, and played a key role in our journey to Wembley. He was the hero in round three when we beat Crystal Palace on penalties.
It was a moment of madness from the England international – an instinctive response after making an error.
Pope can have no complaints. It is just such a shame that it happened on the eve of the cup final.
His suspension means that Howe will have to make a change in between the sticks for the game against Manchester United. Martin Dubravka is suspended, so either Loris Karius or Mark Gillespie will start at Wembley.
Whoever gets the nod from Howe will get the full backing of the Toon Army.