Mamadou Sakho felt “aggrieved” at being penalised for the penalty that cost Crystal Palace a point in their 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth, according to Roy Hodgson.
The defender’s reckless challenge, when appearing to elbow Jefferson Lerma in the face, left referee Mike Dean with no option but to award a penalty, and Sakho perhaps fortunate to be shown only a yellow card.
Bournemouth’s substitute Junior Stanislas capitalised by scoring his first Premier League goal since his return from a six-month absence with a knee injury, consigning Palace to a fourth defeat from seven.
But Hodgson defended Sakho and said: “He feels aggrieved. We are used, in football, when you give a penalty away it’s because you’ve deliberately stopped a player scoring a goal. But not with an unintentional collision.
“Mamadou Sakho has no intention to elbow the player or use an elbow to stop the player getting to the ball.
“I can’t deny that, when you see it on the television, he does catch the player and as a result the referee is quite within his rights to give the penalty.
“It’s always frustrating losing to a needless free-kick given away (by Alexander Sorloth, just before the penalty), and then to a penalty.
“We paid a high price for the mistakes we made. We end up with nothing to show for our efforts.”
The victory takes Bournemouth up to seventh — six places above Palace — and their manager Eddie Howe hailed the impact Stanislas made only three minutes after coming on as a substitute.
“I’m really pleased,” he said. “It was a very tough moment for him.
“He’d not touched the ball. He is the penalty taker and grabbed the ball. But it’s not easy to get the composure to grab the ball and take it. It was a huge moment for the team.
“It’s been a long journey back from injury for him. We are delighted Junior was on the pitch as he has such a cool head.
“We had to defend well. We shaded it and deserved to win. They did well for long spells in the second half. But I was pleased with the mentality of the group to go again after conceding the equaliser.”