Ex-England striker and MOTD host Gary Lineker labels Luton's penalty at Brighton as 'ludicrous'

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Former Spurs forward tweets about referee Coote’s decision

The decision to award Luton a penalty in their opening Premier League match of the season at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday was described as ‘frankly ludicrous’ by Match of the Day host Gary Lineker.

With 80 minutes gone at the Amex Stadium, Town found themselves 2-0 down after goals from Solly March and Joao Pedro had given the hosts what looked like an unassailable lead, before substitute Jacob Brown got away on the right and sent a low cross into the box.

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It struck the left elbow of Seagulls skipper Lewis Dunk, who was sliding into make a block, as despite the England international being unable to do much about the contact, it was enough for referee David Coote to point to the spot.

A VAR check agreed with the on-field call, to the bemusement of ex-England, Leicester City and Spurs striker Lineker, who took to Twitter to say: “Luton have scored their first @premierleague goal.

"It came from the penalty spot after a, frankly, ludicrous penalty decision bizarrely not overturned by VAR.”

However, there was no mention by Lineker of the equally soft penalty that Brighton were awarded when Joao Pedro went down under the most minimal of contact from skipper Tom Lockyer just nine minutes earlier, with the Town centre half feeling that decision was ‘incredibly harsh’.

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Although attacker Brown had felt there was an element of fortune about the verdict that went in his side’s favour, he also pointed to the one that went against the Hatters, adding: “As soon as it hit his arm I was screaming for a penalty.

Luton's penalty at Brighton is checked by VAR at the weekend - pic: Liam SmithLuton's penalty at Brighton is checked by VAR at the weekend - pic: Liam Smith
Luton's penalty at Brighton is checked by VAR at the weekend - pic: Liam Smith

"Fortunately it was given, so it was a good feeling to get back in the game.

"We’ve just got to look at what we’ve done from there and hopefully we can change what weren’t happy with.

“I think all the lads were saying we didn’t think it (Seagulls spotkick) was a penalty, but Brighton will say it was a penalty.

"It’s one of them, you can’t go back and look at decisions as they’ve been made, but we got ourselves back in the game again so we just move on from that.”