Loris Karius made his Newcastle United debut in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, and received criticism for his role in Manchester United’s second goal – but Shay Given has jumped to his defence.

Nick Pope was suspended for the game at Wembley, giving Karius the chance to start for the first time in two years. The German stopper made some smart saves, but was unable to keep out Casemiro and Marcus Rashford.

Questions were asked about Karius’ role in the second, with former Magpie Jose Enrique criticising him. Rashford’s effort looped off Sven Botman and over the goalkeeper to double Man United’s lead. Some argued that he overcommitted and should have done better.

However, Given has defended the former Liverpool player and has provided some insight on what he was told by the 29-year-old after the game.

Shay Given jumps to the defence of Loris Karius

On The Overlap YouTube channel, Jamie Carragher asked Given if their criticism of Karius for the second goal was harsh.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Carabao Cup Final
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

“It was a difficult one, the second one, because I think the shot was going low or maybe it was a cross, then it’s took a deflection so I think it’s not an error as such,” Given said.

“He’s just maybe a tad unfortunate. He’s gone low a bit too early perhaps. But at the same time, who’s to say Nick Pope would’ve saved it.

“Then in the second half he made some great saves. Gary [Neville] talks about Man United having a really good shape, but they looked really dangerous on the break. Karius made some great saves.

“I saw him after the game and he said he was happy with his performance.”

Karius did all he could and is not to blame for Carabao Cup final defeat

Given’s assessment is spot on. From my perspective, it’s hard to blame Karius for the second goal due to the deflection. And there’s no guarantee that Pope would have saved it had he been able to play.

We would have been a stronger team if Pope had not been suspended, but Karius certainly didn’t let the club down. He performed admirably well, and is right to be happy with his performance. He was disappointed at full time, and was consoled by Toon co-owner Amanda Staveley.

Karius made some excellent saves to keep the scoreline down. It actually could have been an embarrassing result had it not been for his efforts at Wembley.

This might be the one and only appearance Karius makes for Newcastle, and he should be proud of how he played. It’s just a shame that he doesn’t have a winner’s medal to remember the day.

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