Journalist Graham Smyth blasted Marc Roca’s embarrassing reaction after a tussle with Newcastle United’s Joelinton.
Roca’s ridiculous antics were singled out in an attempt to get Joelinton into serious trouble with the referee.
Following a quiet first half at St James’ Park, the game needed to be sparked into life, and this incident in the 48th minute brought about a flashpoint early in the second half.
The incident occurred after the Brazilian fouled the Whites midfielder and then went back for seconds by overreacting and pushing Roca, who went down in a pile holding his face.
Following a VAR check, which left St James’ Park holding their breath, such was the even balance of the game, no further action was recommended by Michael Salisbury, with referee Simon Hooper instead instructing Joelinton to calm down before the match resumed.
It was nonetheless an all too familiar occurrence where play-acting is deployed to try and see a red card brandished to the opposition, which Smyth saw the need to single out the Leeds United midfielder on Twitter.
He wrote: “Joelinton has a shove at Roca, hands up. Roca goes down like he was shot. Simon Hooper gives the Newcastle man a talking to, no more.”
TIF Thoughts on Smyth’s comments…
It’s always one of the most frustrating scenes in football when players throw themselves down in a heap, leaving you feeling embarrassed you even witnessed it.
It did, however, act as a sparking point in the game, with both Leeds and Newcastle forcing good chances as they battled to make the breakthrough.
You always take a risk when raising your hands towards an opponent, but it does appear that common sense prevailed with Joelinton getting away with just a brief chat with the referee.
Emotions were clearly running high in a match that means a huge amount at both ends of the table and it was reassuring to see it not blown out of proportion by the officials.
And with tensions boiling over towards the end of the game, Newcastle and Joelinton will surely be mightily relieved they weren’t made to see the game out with 10 men on the pitch.