Gary Lineker argues Nick Pope should avoid Carabao Cup final ban due to red card 'anomaly'
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Gary Lineker believes that Nick Pope should not be banned from playing in the Carabao Cup final next weekend, labeling his suspension an "anomaly."
Newcastle fell to a 0-2 defeat at home to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday, but the fall-out from the game could affect more than Newcastle's top-four hopes.
With his side already two goals down after 20 minutes, Pope rushed out of his goal to intercept a through-ball intended for Mohamed Salah. The goalkeeper got to the ball first, but misjudged it and ended up handling it 10 yards outside his penalty area.
Referee Anthony Taylor showed no hesitation in showing the England international a straight red card, meaning Pope will not miss his side's next game, the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United.
While Pope can have no complaints about the red card, he can feel aggrieved to be suspended for the trip to Wembley.
Pope's teammate Joelinton was one yellow card away from picking up a suspension himself, although had he picked up his tenth booking of the season, his two-match ban would not have included the cup final.
That's because bans for the accumulation of yellow cards in the Premier League are only enforced in league matches. However, suspensions for straight red cards apply to all domestic competitions.
Speaking on Match of the Day, Lineker highlighted the difference.
"Wasn't Joelinton on nine yellows?" Lineker said. "If he'd have got another yellow he would have missed two games but not the Carabao Cup final.
"That's an anomaly. Why is that? Come on! Let him play in the cup final. He's been brilliant this season. Let him play, let him play. Go on, it will be nice, wouldn't it. It's the right thing to do."
Lineker then went on to explain why Newcastle will try to win their first major trophy since 1955 with their third-choice goalkeeper between the sticks.
"[Martin] Dubravka is their reserve keeper and the irony is that he's played for Manchester United in the Carabao Cup [this season] so he'll get a winner's medal if United win - he can't play. So then it comes down to Loris Karius, who hasn't played a game for two years [or Mark Gillespie] who's never played in the Premier League."
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer shared Lineker's view, admitting that his former side might struggle without Pope.
"It's a big blow for Newcastle. A huge blow actually for Nick Pope and Newcastle because he's been superb this season," he said. "I do feel for him because that's the only error he's made."
Featured Image Credit: BBC/Alamy
Topics: Newcastle United, Gary Lineker, Liverpool, Carabao Cup, Manchester United, Mohamed Salah, Alan Shearer, Match Of The Day, Premier League