Sunderland v Newcastle: Rob Elliot left baffled by Fabricio Coloccini red card

Newcastle United goalkeeper Robert Elliot is left dejected after Sunderland's Steven Fletcher scores their third goal of the game
Newcastle United goalkeeper Robert Elliot is left dejected after Sunderland's Steven Fletcher scores their third goal of the game

Rob Elliot says Fabricio Coloccini’s dismissal left him baffled – as Steven Fletcher was NEVER going to beat him to the ball.

Newcastle United were beaten 3-0 by Sunderland yesterday’s Wear-Tyne derby.

And the defeat, the club’s sixth successive derby loss, has left Steve McClaren’s side 19th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s home game against Stoke.

Elliot felt the Sunderland game was turned on its head by referee Robert Madley’s decision to send off Fabricio Coloccini in the 45th minute, and award a penalty, after the club’s captain challenged Fletcher in the box.

Fletcher was chasing a ball which was gathered by Elliot after Coloccini was adjudged to have bundled the striker over.

And the Newcastle goalkeeper felt Coloccini should not have been sent off – as it was NOT a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Asked about the decision, Elliot said: “The ball got played through. I was sort of waiting for the ball to get past Colo and Fletcher.

“It went straight through to me. I jumped on it and Fletcher’s gone over. The ref’s decided to give a foul, I couldn’t believe it really.

“In my understanding it has to be a clear goalscoring opportunity. I didn’t think it was at all.

“For a decision like that to lead to a sending off and a goal, it doesn’t see fair.”

Adam Johnson converted the resulting penalty and Billy Jones and Fletcher netted after the break.

Goalkeeper Elliot was making his first derby appearance at the Stadium of Light, having played in a 3-0 defeat at St James’s Park a couple of seasons ago.