Belfast Telegraph

Hughes unhappy with decisions

Stoke boss Mark Hughes claimed his side had had a penalty wrongly given against them and been denied a clear one themselves in their 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.

After Mame Biram Diouf's close-range finish had put the Potters a goal up early on in the Barclays Premier League contest at the Britannia Stadium, they suffered what Hughes deemed the first injustice when Palace equalised in the 41st minute.

Referee Andre Marriner adjudged Asmir Begovic to have fouled Yannick Bolasie, who was chasing a long ball forward, as the pair collided in the box and awarded a spot-kick which Glenn Murray firmly despatched.

The official also booked Begovic, but Hughes felt it was Bolasie who had been guilty of an infringement.

The Stoke manager said: "My take on it at the time was that is was just a long ball knocked forward, and maybe we hadn't dealt with it as well as we'd like to.

"But then you see the replay and you understand why, because I thought the lad Bolasie has got his foot up high, and that is what has taken Asmir's eye and why he has missed the ball.

"The referee deems it a penalty, but in my view it was a free-kick the other way for dangerous play.

"That was the key moment and those are the big decisions you want referees to get (right). Andre Marriner missed a lot of things today I felt."

Hughes was also aggrieved about an incident midway through the second period - by which point Stoke were trailing to Wilfried Zaha's goal in first-half stoppage-time - when a Diouf shot in the area struck the arms of Palace defender Joel Ward, with play being allowed to continue.

Hughes said: "It was clear - arguably it was the best save of the match!

"(Palace goalkeeper Julian) Speroni has done great, but that was a full-length save (by Ward) and he has two hands on it, for goodness sake. How he (Marriner) doesn't give that penalty is beyond me."

Zaha made the most of ponderous Stoke defending when he scored the winner, latching onto a Murray flick-on from Speroni's long kick to slot past Begovic, and Hughes admitted his side should have done better on that occasion.

"It is a mistake from us. It was just a long ball and needed clearing the lines," the Welshman said.

"If you don't deal with the first ball, you certainly deal with the second one, and we didn't do either. That is a disappointment, because we know we are better than that."

Palace manager Alan Pardew said in his post-match press conference he had not seen a replay of the Begovic-Bolasie incident, but had no doubt it had been a "turning point" in the game.

Pardew said: "It thought it was a cracking game today and that Stoke were good - in the first period we really struggled to stay with them.

"The goal for us was crucial. I haven't seen it back and I think Stoke were unhappy with it.

"But it was a turning point - I thought we were good after that.

"I think it was a tough day for the officials today. I thought all of it was pretty fair, but tough - it was a tough, physical encounter, almost like a Six Nations rugby union match at times in terms of real aggression in the right way.

"The referee had a couple of calls to make and he was never going to get them all right because both sides were as aggressive as each other. But it made for a cracking game."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph