Speaking on talkSPORT radio, former England defender Micky Gray said: “That ball is in play. Cristiano Ronaldo is sharp, he’s bright, he makes a move as soon as Nick Pope is in contact with this ball.
Gray’s co-host Sam Matterface agreed: “That free-kick was taken. That free-kick was taken by somebody else! Ronaldo is telling Fabian Schar and said ‘You touched that back to Pope’. And he did!”
Former Arsenal player Perry Groves added: “Just looking at Craig Pawson, it looks like he’s got his arm up to say when Pope can take it. But looking at him I don’t think he [the referee] got a grip of what’s going on.”
Ronaldo’s goal against Newcastle to break the deadlock in the second half was ruled out despite the fact the Magpies appeared to have taken a freekick.
The Portuguese insisted that Schar had touched the ball, sending in into play (something that the cameras confirm) but Pawson refused to consult VAR.