(Video) Paul Merson gives his verdict on the Isaac Hayden ‘head injury’ and whether Diogo Jota’s goal should have stood

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Paul Merson was asked to provide his insight on whether the game should have been stopped as Diogo Jota scored Liverpool’s equaliser against Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe was the most vocal over his belief that his side deserved a stoppage in play for a ‘head injury’ sustained by Isaac Hayden and said it was a moment that changed the game.

The incident has been long since discussed and the debate continued on Soccer Saturday where the former Arsenal man provided his thoughts on the possible foul.

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The 53-year-old said: “If the kid’s knocked out, or he’s cut his head open, in this day and age … his elbow has only got to touch you and it can slit your face open.

“For me, he’s got to blow the whistle. He looks [at the player on the floor] and he doesn’t.

“For me, he should have stopped the game and it’s as simple as that, it don’t matter if it’s three seconds or four seconds, two seconds, call the game, see the game and watch the game”.

Mike Dean made a big call not to blow up and no matter what decision he did make, the referee would have upset at least one manager.

There was no knowing the extent of the ‘head injury’ at the time but seeing as the player came back on the pitch right after the goal and the replays suggested it was more a clash of shoulders than anything else, it would have been very unfair to lose a goal for that.

If it was given as a free-kick, surely this would start a precedent of every player going down from corners holding their heads in the hope of a stoppage in play.

You can watch the analysis by Merson courtesy of Sky Sports via @footballdaily:

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More Stories Diogo Jota Isaac Hayden Paul Merson


  1. Absolute BS from Paul Marson. If strikers get yellow carded for diving in the penalty area, Hayden should have been yellow carded for unsportsmanlike behaviour. If it was that serious, why does Howe allow him to continue to play the WHOLE match. From what I saw 3 NUFC players bump into one another, without clashing heads, and immediately know that they are still under threat from LFC. “Let’s hold our heads and hope the ref blows …” is going through their mind. For once I agree with the ref (who I am not a big fan of jbtw) and allows play to continue, quite correctly. There was NOTHING wrong with Hayden, and if there was, Howe should have taken him off, which he didn’t. NUFC should hold their heads…….in shame.

  2. It was clearly an elbow in Haydens head if you can’t see that , which the pundits at the time didn’t either, then you need to go to Specsavers!

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