Sky Sports Pundit slams Chris Smalling for simulation versus Newcastle United
Sky Sports Pundit Tony Gale hit out at the performance of Chris Smalling during Manchester United's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday. The England international has received plenty of sticks from the club's faithful of late, and he did himself no favours after being booked for simulation in the lead-up to the Magpies goal.
Speaking on Sky Sports, former West Ham ace Gale was not impressed with the reaction of the centre-back, and believes he should have been embarrassed over his reaction, he said: "Well I think he got embarrassed so quickly he got up so quickly didn’t he. He realised what he had done. His defence would be that he was anticipating the challenge, but that’s not enough. You’ve got to have a connection on you and it was embarrassing really, it was quite embarrassing. Watch how quickly he gets up here, he goes down and he’s ‘oh blimey, what have I done, up I get’."
The Magpies were denied a clear-cut penalty off Smalling's foul during the first-half of the game, and they dually deserved their luck in the second period as a free-kick from Smalling's dive allowed Matt Ritchie grab all three points for the hosts.
The triumph was only Newcastle's third in 29 appearances versus the Red Devils, but the victory could go a long way to sealing their top-flight status with Rafael Benitez's side now having bridged a two-point gap between themselves and the drop zone.
Meanwhile, United have lost their slimmest of chances of winning the title after falling 16 points behind leaders Manchester City, and they are now likely to place emphasis on finish in the runner-up spot before vying for potential honours in the FA Cup and Champions League.
Jose Mourinho's side are presently two points ahead of third-placed Liverpool in the standings, and the manager will be determined to maintain the club's position, having performed better than their league rivals during the first-half of the campaign.