Lambert has no complaints as red card proves costly in loss to Everton
Adam saw red for a studs-up lunge on Wayne Rooney half an hour into the game.
Paul Lambert had no complaints over Charlie Adam’s costly 30th-minute dismissal as Stoke’s relegation fears grew with a 2-1 home loss to Everton.
Adam was one of the veterans Lambert called upon for this crucial clash with a Toffees side that had lost five successive top-flight away games, but the 32-year-old turned the contest in Everton’s favour when he lunged in with a studs-up challenge on Wayne Rooney that prompted referee Martin Atkinson to show the red card.
Cenk Tosun then scored a brace for the visitors, the second an 84th-minute winner after Stoke substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had cancelled out his opener, to leave Lambert’s side three points adrift of safety with seven fixtures remaining.
Visibility was poor in the swirling snow, yet upon seeing a replay of Adam leaping into a challenge with his feet off the floor, Lambert had no gripes.
“I couldn’t really see it with the weather at the beginning but I saw it on the monitor and I can understand why Martin’s given the red card,” the Potters boss said.
“If you go in with your studs in the modern-day game and you mistime a challenge, you put yourself in that position to be red carded.
“The way the weather was and (with) the conditions, the pitch becomes more slippy, that can have an effect on it. (But) I can understand why he gave the red card.
“We started well, we looked really good. It was a massive blow. Charlie’s as disappointed as anyone but you can’t change it.”
Lambert’s opposite number Sam Allardyce was in agreement.
“I haven’t really seen it again but it looked pretty dangerous the way he’s slid in,” the Everton manager said.
“He caught Wayne right across the shin. What referees are looking for today, I suppose you could see why he’s given the red card.
“Sliding in like that, they see it as reckless. (The referee) had no hesitation. The sad thing for Paul and his players is that would have been the last thing he wanted when they’re struggling in the bottom three. We’ve capitalised on them going down to 10 men by winning the game.”
Lambert correctly felt injustice over Tosun’s first as the assistant referee’s flag stayed down despite the striker being offside when he initially met Yannick Bolasie’s cross before putting away the second rebound.
However, he could only lament his side’s defending for Tosun’s second as Stoke allowed the Turkey international to meet Theo Walcott’s cross for his fourth goal in three games.
Tosun was a big-money capture from Besiktas in January but had been kept out of the starting line-up for four fixtures prior to embarking on a purple patch on his return to the team.
“You want the top-quality marksman to turn the game in your favour and I think Cenk has done that,” said Allardyce.
“He’s adapted much quicker than lots of front men who come from abroad into the Premier League for the first time, particularly in January.
“Taking him out of the firing line, giving him the opportunity to get to know the players, do the extra training he’s done, we’re seeing the full benefits of that now.
“Goals have been a shortfall for us this season and if he’s going to be the one that can get into double figures and turn a game like he’s done, that would be great. He’s the major reason why he won today.”