I’m surprised by how much has been made of the Mohamed Diame (alleged!) elbow on the ball on Saturday.

In case you haven’t seen it, 10 minutes before half-time the ball was headed from a corner (I think) and as the ball headed towards goal, it came into contact with the Newcastle midfielder’s arm.

As usual, it is largely down to the TV companies as to what gets talked about after matches.

If Match of The Day and/or Sky Sports pick out and feature it, then everybody else follows, such as the newspapers etc.

That has been the case with the Swansea match, both main broadcasters, no doubt BT Sport will have done the same, showing video reruns of the incident.

Yes it hit Diame’s elbow, but a Swansea player changed the direction of the ball just in front of the Newcastle player, and it looked more of an instinctive reflex when his arm went up and stopped the ball going in the net.

That isn’t to say that it shouldn’t have been a penalty and probably a red card because it was, certainly we would have felt hard done by if it had happened at the other end and nothing given.

However, the way some pundits/fans have went on, you would think it was premeditated cheating just like Maradona’s disgraceful hand of God incident. An incident which for me meant he could never be considered a true great, no matter how good he was. A cheat is a cheat.

In the wider picture, it is amazing how much power TV companies do have in dictating the agenda.

Just look at the opening day of the season, yes Jonjo Shelvey deserved to go for his stupidity but Dele Alli was in no danger of any serious harm. In contrast, Harry Kane’s shocking challenge on Florian Lejuene put him out of the game after only half an hour and he was on the injured list for some time, yet there was nothing said afterwards regarding how Kane should have had more serious punishment.

Even worse, when Newcastle lost to Everton, Wayne Rooney blatantly elbowed Matt Ritchie in the face and whilst the officials missed it at the time, it was unbelievable how the TV companies didn’t even replay it or make it into a big talking point.

About time we got a little luck and who knows, maybe Diame’s elbow and the point Newcastle subsequently picked up on Saturday, may be a deciding factor at the end of the season.

Mohamed Diame talking to the Chronicle:

“It all happened very quickly to be honest.

“I just saw the ball and wanted to move my body but my arm went quicker than my body.

“It wasn’t a goal, I am happy for that – that is it.

“When you play Swansea at home you’re disappointed not to win it but we have to take the positive things from it.

“I think we could have scored in the first half and made the game easier for us but it is a point.

“If we can win, it’s great, if you can draw, at least you haven’t lost.

“We just have to keep going as we are and the more we play, the shape of the team is stronger.

“We did have opportunities to score and didn’t take them – after that – it wasn’t easy to keep our shape.

“It won’t be easy at Man City, it will be tough, and we’ll have to work hard.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Swansea 1


Newcastle: Joselu 68

Swansea: Ayew 60

Possession was Swansea 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Swansea 8 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Swansea 5 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Swansea 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Graham Scott

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Merino 82), Atsu, Gayle (Joselu 64), Perez

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Haidara, Manquillo, Hayden, Murphy

Crowd: 51,444 (Swansea 1,100)

(Alan Shearer spells it out after watching Newcastle 1 Swansea 1 – Read it HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Swansea draw HERE)

(Swansea boss says Newcastle lucky to avoid red card, penalty and defeat – Read it HERE)

(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after the game HERE)

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  • Peter Stabler

    Sorry mate, Maradona was a great player.

    • Ram Kishore

      And Mo diame saved us a goal.
      End of the story .. He did what he had to do to get us a point ..
      These kinda things happens to all the teams and it will happen to us again.
      These small things what makes football interesting.
      Just like Offside goals being allowed


    • Rich Lawson

      But a junkie cheat all the same.

      • Peter Stabler

        Without a doubt.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    At least you haven`t lost,
    this about the bottom team in the league & at home at St James Park, if that`s their attitude we`re down

    • Ram Kishore

      Forget the position on the table
      They were just 6 points below.
      Not much of a sense to say we are stronger than them

    • nufcslf

      Most definitely. Try scoring the early chances and all it would have been is Swansea should have had a penalty as a consolation goal. A soft draw at home against the bottom team doens’t deserve any positive press any way. Can’t wait for the Man. City match……..

  • Leazes

    There are double standards with the MOTD team and Sky, without a doubt.

    I watched the game highlights and the movement was slightly forward not to the side and it wouldn’t have made much difference to the outcome, but leading up to the episode the referee had to have words with two of their forwards who were grabbing and boxing in Darlow…. this isn’t rugby… it should have been a free kick to us.

    If a penalty had arisen for something similar against Liverpool or Chelsea they would have brushed it aside……

    …they didn’t…. this is a game of marginal calls and when referees adopt a biased stance against United you end up with….

    ….Statistics that show the institutionalised discrepancies in penalties for and against!

    The MOTD team could have trained their vision on what was going on on the touchline, there was a lot going on and easy to miss a touch but no doubt with the onset of VAR every call will be scrutinised and every team will play to instigate hand ball in the area.

    Maybe we will be given a penalty some day…. probably by VAR…. it certainly won’t be by a referees instinct.

  • Rich Lawson

    And the last time we got a penalty was ?

    • gallowgate26

      They might have to finally give us one, with this VAR coming in though!

      • Down Under Mag

        I think it is only going to be a change of ruling when it is clear. If there is any doubt in the replay then it will be referee’s call like it is in other sports…i’m sure the “reasonable doubt” will have a much wider scope for some clubs than others still!

  • thewildchimp

    He’s a foreign player, in a black&white shirt. Of course this is the outcome.
    Ali could’ve ended De Bruyne’s career with that atrocious, deliberate challenge – the worst he got was “watch those paintbrushes, Ali” from Lineker and some scolding in the media. Kane’s incident (almost as bad) in the same match wasn’t even mentioned.
    Meanwhile, when Mitro (not defending him) stepped on Walker some folks were crying for a 10 match ban, a whole season ban, even “ban him from the country”.
    The FA is not different from the FIFA and the UEFA in the slightest.

    F…ing sick of the money-grabbers ruining this fine sport!
    Ashley out, while I’m at it!

  • Charlie Dickens

    It’s a big deal because Swansea are bottom of the league and being denied three points for a win because of the incompetence of officials could be a crucial factor for them at the end of the season. In a sterile game, after the first half hour anyway, it was a major talking point. Why do we have to be so polarized, so partisan all the time? Either you’re with us or against us, either Benitez is god or he needs replacing. Things are always more nuanced than this and just because you’re a Newcastle fan doesn’t mean the media focusing on a non-call is akin to persecution.

    • Down Under Mag

      I think fans still remember the ref looking the other way when Kane committed GBH earlier int he season against us and none of the media paid any attention to it. If that had been Mitrovic or Shelvey there would have been a public lynching of them in Soho Square.

      • Charlie Dickens

        Aye, alright golden boy Kane got a free one there, though I’m sure it was covered somewhat on MotD and whatnot. What with VAR this sort of incident is topical even if it happens often. Think the football media is generally appalling but the Chronicle is hardly a bastion of good journalism.

  • FatParosite

    It wasn’t even an elbow….

  • Voice of Reason

    In fairness to Mo it was his best first touch in a Newcastle shirt