Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren baffled by controversial penalty decision in dramatic draw against Man United

Newcastle United's manager Steve McClaren
Newcastle United's manager Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren says he “couldn’t believe” the controversial penalty awarded against Chancel Mbemba.

Relegation-threatened Newcastle United came from behind to draw 3-3 against Manchester United at St James’s Park last night.

The game was dominated by penalty calls.

Referee Mike Dean penalised Mbemba for an early handball after Marouane Fellaini headed the ball on to his arm.

Wayne Rooney converted the resulting spot kick to put the visitors into the lead.

The decision incensed head coach McClaren, as did Dean’s failure to point to the spot when Jesse Lingard – who went on to score a second goal for Man united – brought down Daryl Janmaat.

Dean did, however, award a second-half penalty to Newcastle, a first in 13 months, when Chris Smalling wrestled Aleksandar Mitrovic in the box.

Asked about the decisions, McClaren said: “Their penalty? No one appealed. We couldn’t believe it was a penalty.

“Our penalty? I’ve not seen it, but I thought it was a definite penalty! It was our first penalty for 13 months.”

Mitrovic had missed a series of chances in the club’s four-game losing streak, but he had the confidence to take the penalty, which he swept past David de Gea.

“Mitro had the courage to take the penalty, and he will get better,” said McClaren, whose side remain 18th in the table.