'Gordon was brilliant, infuriating, smart and sneaky'

Vladimir Coufal of West Ham United fouls Anthony Gordon of Newcastle United to give away a penalty
[Getty Images]

Former Chelsea and Everton winger Pat Nevin, writing for the BBC Football Extra newsletter:

Last week I wrote about Jude Bellingham’s addiction to winning free kicks and the injury dangers that poses. He is good at it, but he isn’t in the class of Anthony Gordon. Gordon was brilliant, infuriating, smart and sneaky all in one crazy performance in a madcap but enthralling match that Newcastle finally won 4-3.

I want to focus on the penalties he ‘won’. I would argue the second one definitely shouldn’t have been given and the first was questionable too.

‌The trick is not to look at the contact - which there definitely was - but try, however biased you are, to look only at Gordon’s movement. Blank everything else out. Then ask the question, “Is he trying to get the ball, or is he simply initiating the contact himself?”

‌In another situation, if Gordon or any player was running into the penalty area with the ball and threw his leg out to initiate contact, most sensible fans would be furious at the cheating. This is however a more subtle, ‘cleverer’ version of the dark art.

‌Both penalties were given. David Moyes and many players knew exactly what was going on, even if the referee didn’t. Newcastle fans will not care a jot.

They will care however, if Gordon does the same and a player inadvertently seriously injures him, as Kalvin Phillips almost did. It is a high risk technique and also a morally questionable one at best.