The Newcastle United matches Nick Pope will miss after red card v Liverpool
Newcastle suffered their first home defeat of the season at St James's Park as Liverpool ended their 17 game unbeaten run in the Premier League. Early goals from Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo put The Reds in a commanding position shortly before Pope was shown a straight red card after just 22 minutes.
It was the first blemish on Pope’s near faultless record since arriving at Newcastle from Burnley last summer.
Nick Pope’s red card
Pope’s first ever Premier League red card and United’s first sending off in the league this season saw the goalkeeper rush outside of his penalty area in an attempt to beat Mohammed Salah to Alisson’s long kick forward.
Although Pope beat Salah to the ball, he stumbled under pressure, misjudging a diving header and ended up desperately grasping for the ball instead.
Referee Anthony Taylor quickly brandished a red card for handball which saw Martin Dubravka handed his first Premier League appearance of the season as he replaced full debutant Elliot Anderson.
Pope will now face a suspension.
How many Newcastle United matches is Nick Pope suspended for?
Fortunately for Newcastle, Pope’s red card for handball only sees him handed a one-match suspension. Unfortunately for Newcastle, it’s a big one.
Pope will miss The Magpies’ upcoming Carabao Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, February 26 (4:30pm kick-off).
Unlike yellow card suspensions in the Premier League, red cards do carry over into the domestic cup competitions.
Players sent off for a professional foul or handball are subject to a one-match suspension.
That means Pope will be back for Newcastle’s next Premier League match against Manchester City on March 4 (12:30pm kick-off).
What Eddie Howe said about Nick Pope’s handball
Following the match, Howe said: "I've not had a proper word with him, but I've seen him – and he looks visibly upset. He's been outstanding for us this season.
"It was probably technically handball, but I don't know the rules on red cards outside the box. For me, it was a harsh reaction, but I understand if it's in the rules. It's harsh for Nick, because he's been magnificent for us, and to miss the next game is a huge blow for him.”
"We've got a decision to make [for the Carabao Cup final]. Mark Gillespie has trained very well this season, as has Loris [Karius].”
Howe also confirmed there is no loan recall close for Karl Darlow following his deadline day move to Hull City.
Could Newcastle United appeal Nick Pope’s red card?
Newcastle are free to appeal Pope’s red card dismissal in an attempt to make him available for the cup final should they wish. However any potential appeal would be highly unlikely to be rescinded.
In order to be successful, The Magpies would have to argue that the referee made a clear and obvious error in showing Pope the red card. Given Pope clearly handled the ball outside the penalty area and with VAR in place and not intervening, Newcastle have little to no grounds to argue that an error had been made.
Pope's suspension could even be extended further should Newcastle’s appeal be deemed to be frivolous.
Who will start in goal for Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final?
Although Howe has hinted at a potential selection dilemma in goal, in all likelihood, Newcastle will hand a competitive debut to Loris Karius for the Carabao Cup final. The German goalkeeper hasn’t played a competitive game for an English club since the 2018 Champions League final for Liverpool.
Karius signed for Newcastle as a free agent in September following his release from Liverpool, signing a short-term deal which he later extended until the end of the 2022-23 season. His only previous outing for the club came in the first half of the friendly win over Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia back in December.
Mark Gillespie, who was Newcastle’s fifth choice goalkeeper just a few weeks ago, is also under consideration. The 30-year-old Geordie has been named on the bench just once this season in the Carabao Cup second round win at Tranmere Rovers and is now set to return to the bench at Wembley Stadium for the final.
But it would be a big gamble from Howe to start Gillsepie given the goalkeeper has played just three competitive matches for Newcastle in three seasons and hasn't made a league appearance above League One level in England during his professional career.
Martin Dubravka makes his first Premier League appearance of the season
In far from ideal circumstances, Dubravka was handed his first league appearance of the campaign as he was introduced with Newcastle two goals and a man down with the majority of the game left to play.
Dubravka is cup-tied for the Carabao Cup final due to playing two matches in the earlier rounds while on loan at Newcastle’s final opponents Manchester United.
But the Slovakian shot-stopper put in an accomplished display on Saturday evening as he kept a clean sheet while on the pitch, making an impressive parried save to deny Darwin Nunez in the second half before collecting Harvey Elliott’s effort on goal.
It was the second-time in Dubravka’s near 15-year professional career in which he’s been thrust into a match following a goalkeeper red card.
"It was difficult circumstances and it is not easy to come on and play against one of the toughest opponents in the world,” Dubravka said. "But I was just trying to be there for the guys when they needed me.
From my perspective it's good to be out on the pitch because this is my home club and like anyone I want to be on the pitch all the time. I just tried to be focused and enjoy the game."