‘A clear penalty... red card was the right decision’ - Sunderland boss Parkinson says ref got both big calls right
Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson says referee Peter Wright got both big decisions spot on as his side beat promotion rivals Ipswich Town 2-1 in a controversial clash last night.
Parkinson’s promotion chasers were locked at 1-1 with Town at the Stadium of Light, before Wright showed Andre Dozzell a surprising straight red card for a midfield dispute with Grant Leadbitter, apparently judging that the midfielder had his foot up and went over the top of the ball in the 73rd minute challenge.
Town’s woes were compounded with five minutes left when Wright pointed to the spot after Toto Nsiala’s header cannoned back off the arm of Mark McGuinness at point blank range in the box.
Ipswich boss Paul Lambert was fuming after the game, arguing that both decisions were totally incorrect.
But Parkinson, whose side remain in sixth place in the League One table, a point behind second-placed Town, took a different view.
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He said: “At the time the red card looked soft but when you look back, the referee had a close-up view of it and the lad has rolled his foot over the ball and caught Grant.
“It’s one of those that, in the Premier League, VAR would have a look at it and I think it would be a sending off.
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“It was a sliding tackle and he did catch Grant - Grant is not someone who would go down unless he had been caught.
“Paul (Lambert) asked me what I thought about it while the game was going on and I said I thought it was harsh, but now I’ve seen it back I think it was the right decision.”
Of the penalty he added: “I don’t think there can be any arguments about the penalty. It came off one centre-half and hit the other one on the arm - it was a clear penalty.”