Gary Lineker proposes rule change after Wayne Rooney's penalty for Manchester United v Newcastle

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United scored early through a Wayne Rooney penalty, after a handball by Chancel Mbemba.

Manchester United drew first blood against Newcastle last night after they were awarded a penalty at St. James' Park.

Inside the opening 10 minutes Chancel Mbemba was judged by Mike Dean to have handled the ball, and a spot kick was given.

Wayne Rooney made no mistake from 12 yards, netting his second penalty in four days, netting in a third consecutive game.

The penalty award split opinion among pundits, and Match of the Day host and former striker Gary Lineker commented on Twitter after the incident, to suggest a more neutral punishment for such incidents, that free-kicks be given rather than penalties.

It's unlikely such a major change would be made to the game's rules, but Lineker provides a talking point all the same.

The punishment for a handball inside the box would then equate to the same as a backpass, while there may also be even more incentive for defenders to risk handling the ball on the goal line to stop a shot going in, knowing the team could place a wall in front of a free-kick, rather than just having a goalkeeper to save a penalty.

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