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Newcastle United player gets whacked in the face by referee

A certain Newcastle United player gets whacked in the face by controversial referee Craig Pawson during the Premier League clash on Saturday.

The moment, capturing the attention of many viewers tuning into the game live on BT Sport, came just a minute into the game.

The official awarded Southampton a free kick, which was dinked into the box, however the receiving player had been offside and play was handed back in Newcastle’s court.

As the referee made the decision, he waved his left arm to give indication, though in the process unknowingly whacked the face of the Magpies’ Joe Willock.

The player threw his head back in shock at getting a hit to the face, started to walk away from the ref before looking back at him, potentially and more hopefully an apology was exchanged.

Watch the clip for yourself below…

Fans gave their reaction as the Newcastle United player gets whacked in the face by the referee…

@GallowgateShots: Willock first involvement as a #NUFC player is to get hit in the face by the referee

@Danjazzyd: But he stayed on his feet, he’s already half geordie.

@gunnerpunner: In case you wanted any more evidence of refereeing bias, Craig Pawson has just hit Joe Willock in the face

@PlumsGinger: Did the ref just accidentally smack willock in the chops?

@SincerelySamuel: 1 minute in and the ref accidentally slaps Joe willock in the chops #NUFC

Newcastle ended the game with nine men, though managed to hold on for a thrilling 3-2 victory over Southampton at St James’ Park.

In an eventful first half, the Magpies raced into a 2-0 lead as Willock slotted home on his debut with 16 minutes on the clock, before Miguel Almiron’s low shot from an angle deflected off Jan Bednarek for his second own goal in the space of five days.

Takumi Minamino got one back with a finish from an acute angle on his Southampton debut 30 minutes in, but Almiron made sure his side were going to stay in front, making the most of Alex McCarthy’s poor kick and Ryan Bertrand mistake to score from outside the box just before half time.

James Ward-Prowse hit a stunner free kick from 30 yards out, cutting Newcastle’s lead with his fourth direct free-kick of the season (48), before Jeff Hendrick saw red for a needless second yellow card.


Newcastle boss Steve Bruce: “A mate of mine said when I took the job that it came with a health hazard.

“The two minutes just after half-time summed it up, where we could have gone 4-1 up and looked very, very rosy indeed. Instead within a minute, it’s 3-2 and we’re down to 10 men. The last half an hour is awful, to be brutally honest. It’s not often you can hang on with 10 men for half an hour, let alone 25 minutes with nine men. The resilience of the team and the effort and the commitment of them was terrific.”

On injuries: “That’s the disappointing thing for me because for too long we’ve had people missing with illness and injury, we’ve been desperate at times. It looks like Manquillo’s is an awful injury, Wilson has a hamstring, and Schar has a bad injury. In the cold light of day tomorrow it may feel we take one step forward and two back.

“You know why managers are complaining because we’re playing simply too much in December and January, and we’re falling to pieces for it.”

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl: “It’s easy to sum up: defensively not good enough for the Premier League, again. The way we conceded the goals in the first half was far too easy and then it’s always tough to come back.

“We tried everything in the second half, but also with not always the best tools and this is the reason why we in the end lose a game that you never have to lose, normally.”

Paul Merson on Soccer Saturday: “Defensively Newcastle are strong but Steve Bruce set up his side to have a real go. Hendrick then gets sent off and Schar got injured so they played 40 minutes with 10 men and 15 minutes with nine – fair play to them.

“Willock had a good debut – scored a good goal, worked hard and, when they were down to 10 and nine, he kept the ball well and bought them time. They were direct, they had a go; there are goals there.

“It probably would have helped Southampton to have 10 because with nine, Newcastle had everyone within 25 yards of the goal and that’s hard to break down. It’s a massive three points for Newcastle. I think they’re safe – hopefully they can play entertaining football for the fans now.”

The result means that Newcastle sit 16th in the Premier League table, picking up 25 points from 23 games played, and 10 points ahead of the drop zone.

Another disappointing result for Southampton means they are 12th, taking 29 points from 22 games.

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