Newcastle United moved a step closer to an instant return to the Premier League as they beat Burton Albion 1-0 at St James’ Park on Wednesday night, but they had to go about it the hard way following a controversial decision.
Referee Keith Stroud chose to award the Brewers an indirect free-kick in their own penalty area – rather than the usual procedure of ordering a re-take – when Magpies striker Dwight Gayle encroached into the box as Matt Ritchie took a first half spot-kick for the hosts.
It was an unbelievable decision that was deemed to be wrong soon after, and an apology soon followed after the final whistle.
Ritchie did get his goal later in the game which moved Rafa Benitez’s side back to the top of the Championship table, and Toon supporters were particularly impressed with the performance of centre-back Chancel Mbemba after he was handed a rare start by the Spaniard.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction to the 22-year-old’s eighth league appearance of the campaign…
@mbemba22 you played very well tonight. Well done and welcome back.
— fiftiesfan (@no1fiftiesfan) April 5, 2017
@mbemba22 Good to see you back in the team more than deserved ????
— Adam Macaskill (@Adam_Mac_19) April 5, 2017
— K B (@koolmacher) April 5, 2017
@mbemba22 Very composed tonight, keep going and more chances will come
— TalkNUFC (@TalkNUFC1) April 5, 2017
— Sir Lee Ha (@MagpieLee) April 6, 2017
— Carla Devine (@CarlaDevine1) April 5, 2017
Nice to see Mbemba back in the team last night. Looked solid and added a sense of composure into our defence. Hope he gets more game time.
— NUFC Online (@NUFC_Online) April 6, 2017
Chancel Mbemba is definitely worth £40m! What a player we've got on our hands… #NUFC
— Ian Rawlings (@ianrawlingsnufc) April 6, 2017