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Nottingham Forest should have had 'clear penalty' in Newcastle defeat - Nuno Espirito Santo

Nuno Espirito Santo says Nottingham Forest should have had a "clear penalty" in their 3-2 Premier League defeat by Newcastle on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka dived and collided with Forest forward Taiwo Awoniyi in the box when it was 2-2.

The video assistant referee reviewed the incident but decided no clear and obvious error had been made by referee Anthony Taylor.

Nuno said the incident was a "decisive moment" in the game at City Ground.

The Forest boss said: "I saw it over and over again, for me it is a clear penalty.

"I think Anthony Taylor maybe doesn't have a clear view of the incident because it is from behind but when you have the chance for VAR to check it, I think it is so obvious, that is why I don't understand the decision."

The defeat leaves Forest 16th in the Premier League, only two points clear of the relegation zone.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, speaking on Sky Sports, said Newcastle, who move up to seventh in the table, "got away with one".

"We don't know what will happen but it clearly changed the history of the game. That was a decisive moment for sure," Nuno added.

Ex-Tottenham defender Stephen Kelly said Dubravka had "needlessly" created contact with Awoniyi.

"There is a lift in the arm from Dubravka to stop Awoniyi getting past him and to the ball. He doesn't need to do that," Kelly told BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra.

The Premier League's chief football officer Tony Scholes said on Friday video assistant referee decisions are taking too long and offer a poor in-stadium experience.

He did say VAR is a largely positive addition to the Premier League and that the number of correct decisions being made has increased from 82% in the period before it was introduced in 2019 to 96% now.

But he acknowledged "clearly everything in the world of VAR is not perfect".

A Key Match Incident Panel, which includes ex-players, examines big decisions after every match round and Scholes revealed it has found that during the 2023-24 season so far, there have been:

  • 57 'correct' VAR interventions, 24 of which were for occurrences on the pitch that would otherwise have been left as wrong decisions.

  • 20 errors, 17 of them relating to incidents where VAR should have got involved but didn't.

  • Two instances of VAR incorrectly overturning on-field decisions - including a penalty decision for Arsenal's Kai Havertz against Manchester United in September which was overruled by VAR.

Callum Hudson-Odoi of Nottingham Forest clashes with Martin Dubravka
Dubravka's arms connected with Awoniyi's foot