The Magpies have made it through to the fourth round of the League Cup, but had to do it the hard way. The two teams could not be separated after 90 minutes, meaning penalties would decide who advances to the next round.
And had it not been for Pope, Newcastle would probably be out the competition right now.
The £10million summer signing saved three of Palace’s five spot-kicks, booking the Magpies’ place in the next round. It also served as a reminder to Gareth Southgate, who is naming his England World Cup squad on Thursday.
Pope has staked his claim to be England’s number one, and his performances in a Toon shirt have been sensational. He has proven to be astounding addition from Burnley, and a bargain for the price Newcastle paid.
And one player is massively indebted to Pope right now.
Bruno Guimaraes apologises after penalty shootout miss
When it came to Newcastle’s fifth penalty, Bruno stepped up for the chance to win it for his side. Given how well he has been playing, you would have backed him to send Eddie Howe’s side through to round four.
Then something outrageous happened.
After a lengthy run up and a shimmy, the 24-year-old blazed his penalty over the bar, handing Palace the chance to send it to sudden death.
Luckily, they squandered that chance thanks to the giant frame of Pope. He saved Malcolm Ebiowei’s effort, sending Newcastle through and sparing Bruno’s blushes.
And after the game, the Brazilian midfielder took to Twitter to apologise.
“It’s about being a hero and a villain, there’s always the good side of history, I’m tired of taking decisive penalties and doing it and today for the first time I had the misfortune of missing my first penalty, horrible feeling,” he wrote.
“Anyone who knows me knows how much I charge myself and how hard I work not to make mistakes. But so is football. I will continue to train and do my best to minimize mistakes. I would like to apologize to my teammates and the fans and congratulate @Popey1992.
“That’s why you are one of the best goalkeepers in the premier league! We continue together in pursuit of our goals.”
No World Cup penalties for Bruno
Bruno’s not wrong about Pope. Based on his form for Newcastle this season, he is certainly one of the best in the Premier League.
He bailed Bruno out on Wednesday night, but there is no need for the former Lyon man to apologise. These things happen in football – penalty shootouts are a lottery.
However, it’s nice to know Bruno is at least human. He is capable of making mistakes, and he made a big one in the Carabao Cup.
Luckily it didn’t matter, and we can now have a little chuckle at his strange attempt to find the net from 12 yards.
If Brazil boss Tite was watching, he will certainly be reassessing his penalty takers ahead of a possible penalty shootout at the World Cup…