Let's be honest -- Newcastle United got absolutely screwed against Metalist Kharkiv. The Magpies might have run out 2-0 winners if the officiating was at all competent, but instead they're being forced to settle for a 0-0 home draw. That's not a bad result, but they should be in a much stronger position.
The first bizarre offside call came midway through the first half. Newcastle were the better side, and they opened up Metalist with a lovely ball over the top to Moussa Sissoko, who scampered down the left wing and squared for Papiss Cisse. The striker slotted in with Oleksandr Goryainov helpless. It was a well-taken opener, and it was ruled out by the assistant referee, who decided that the original pass to Sissoko was offside. It wasn't.
Bizarrely, Cisse had another goal denied in the second half when he stole in on a Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa cross and guided past Goryainov. This time the linesman opted to wait until halfway through the celebration to raise his flag, denying Newcastle yet again. The hosts should have won. They did not. That's unfortunate, and they'll hope they can outplay Metalist by the same margin in Kharkiv.