Wigan Athletic 2 Newcastle United 1
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was unhappy with referee Mark Halsey’s performance after the official missed Callum McManaman’s “awful” challenge and then compounded his error by failing to spot a handball for Wigan’s winner.
McManaman clattered knee-high into Massadio Haidara, who was subsequently carried off on a stretcher with suspected ligament damage, but the youngster escaped punishment.
The 20-year-old’s challenge provoked anger from the Newcastle bench at half-time with assistant manager John Carver being sent to the stands – along with Wigan coach Graham Barrow – after twice trying to confront McManaman in an ugly melee.
“It is an awful challenge. The pictures speak for themselves,” said Pardew.
“I thought it was a bad challenge and I was 60 yards from the incident.
“The players knew because they were on top of it and there was a lot of bad feeling about that incident when it goes unpunished.
“He [Halsey] said, ‘If I’ve missed it I apologise’ – that was at half-time. If it goes unpunished it doubles the impact on the mentality of the players and the team and it did have an impact on us, you can’t get away from that.”
However Wigan manager Roberto Martinez defended McManaman and does not think the striker will be retrospectively punished.
“I haven’t seen it but I believe he gets the ball and then it’s a bad challenge,” said the Latics boss.
“No-one wants to see that but I guarantee that is just a striker trying to win the ball over-enthusiastically because he is making his [full league] debut.
“What you need to look at is if there is intent, a nastiness about the tackle. We are not a nasty team.”
To add insult to injury, Arouna Kone’s 90th-minute winner – after Davide Santon had cancelled out Jean Beausejour’s first-half opener for the hosts – appeared to come off Maynor Figueroa’s hand in the build-up.
WIGAN: Joel 7; Scharner 5, Alcaraz 6, Figueroa 6; Boyce 5, McCarthy 7, Gomez 6, Beausejour 7 (Di Santo 5; 79); McManaman, 4 (McArthur 5; 58) Kone 7, Maloney 8.
NEWCASTLE: Elliot 7; Debuchy 6, S.Taylor 7, Yanga-Mbiwa 7, Santon 7 (Haidara 5; 13) (Perch 7; 27); Gutierrez 6, Tiote 5; Marveaux 5, Sissoko 7, Gouffran 6 (Sh Ameobi 6; 67); Cisse 6.
Referee: Mark Halsey.
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