Eddie Howe was left bemused after Newcastle United had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Paris Saint-Germain following a cruel stoppage-time penalty decision.
Having defended valiantly for the almost the entire game, referee Szymon Marciniak awarded a penalty following a VAR check after Tino Livramento was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area.
Kylian Mbappe stepped up and shattered Geordie’s hearts with a 98th-minute equaliser to leave Newcastle’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stages out of their hands.
Eddie Howe says Polish referee Szymon Marciniak needed to be stronger to stick with his on-field decision as the replays clearly showed that the ball ricocheted off Livramento’s chest and into his arm.
The Magpies looked to be heading for a famous 1-0 win at the Parc des Princes as they battled their way through a second-half onslaught from the hosts, who finally netted with their 30th shot of the game.
Asked if he felt a sense of injustice, he said: “Yes, I do. It wasn’t the right decision in my opinion.
“There are so many things to take into account at that moment, the speed first. It was a ricochet that when it is slowed down, looks completely different to the live event.
“The ball hits his chest first, comes up and hits his hand. But his hand is not in an unnatural position, they [his hands] are down by his side, but he is in a running motion.
“I feel it is a poor decision and it’s hugely frustrating for us as you know how little time there is left in the game. There is nothing we can do about it now.”
“It’s not a penalty when it hits his chest first and then hits his hand which is low. I’m not allowed to sum it up. I can’t say my inner thoughts obviously [I’d get in trouble].
Howe and his players now need to beat AC Milan at home on December 13 and hope PSG do not win away to Borussia Dortmund to progress.