Dion Dublin insists that VAR was wrong to penalize Rico Lewis in match against North Macedonia and scolds England’s defenders for allowing Enis Bardhi to score off Jordan Pickford’s save.

Dion Dublin blasted North Macedonia’s awarding of a spot-kick against England on Friday as ‘never a penalty’ and criticised Three Lions defenders for ‘being on mute’.

England surprisingly went a goal behind against the European minnows after Rico Lewis was deemed to have fouled Bojan Miovski after catching him with a trailing arm.

The Manchester City youngster jumping to win an aerial ball on his senior England debut slightly caught his North Macedonian opponent in the face when doing so who made the most of the challenge.

Referee Filip Glova initially waved play on before being told by VAR to watch the incident back on the pitchside monitor and subsequently awarded the penalty.

Former England international, Dublin, watched on in Skopje and balked at the officials decision that gave Enis Bardhi the chance to open the scoring. 

Rico Lewis (middle) was deemed to have fouled North Macedonia’s Enis Bardhi (left) for a penalty on Monday

Dion Dublin fumed that the penalty should 'never' have been given for Lewis' challenge

Dion Dublin fumed that the penalty should ‘never’ have been given for Lewis’ challenge

‘That can’t be a penalty surely. The hand in face I get that but football is a contact sport. Surely not. 

‘Oh my word. I am very surprised ref has given that, really am. Hand in face I get that but how else are you supposed to jump? Never a penalty for me, never,’ he fumed.

England and Everton goalkeeper, Pickford, produced a strong save to deny the initial penalty and becoming the first England player to save a penalty in open play since Joe Hart denied Ronaldinho in 2017.

However, England defenders failed to react quickest to the rebound as Bardhi pounced on the loose ball and scoring to give the hosts a shock lead.

Dublin criticised the slow reaction from England, adding: ‘It wasn’t a great penalty, Pickford kept it out, his defenders were on mute.’

Former Chelsea and England international Joe Cole similarly condemned the set-piece awarding and blasted the match referee for wanting to be the ‘star of the show’.

Cole explained: ‘Absurd penalty, the referee see’s it in normal time. The ref we have found one, he wants to be the star of the show.’

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