LONDON: A further refereeing controversy overshadowed Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Sunderland after official Roger East sent off the wrong man.
On a day when football’s lawmakers expressed extreme caution over the value of video assistance East showed his red card to Wes Brown rather than John O’Shea who had just pulled back Radamel Falcao.
Even though the official spoke to his assistants via his headset and O’Shea tried to correct him, the decision stood. The fourth official for the game was Martin Atkinson, who was criticised for his refereeing when Chelsea drew with Burnley last week.
It was an incident similar to Andre Marriner’s blunder last season in sending off Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for handling on the goal-line.
Later the Professional Game Match Officials Limited sought to justify East’s decision.
A statement explained: “From his position Roger East, the match referee, believed he saw contact from John O’Shea and Wes Brown on Radamel Falcao. As he thought Brown made a foul on Falcao while he was in the act of shooting, he dismissed Brown.
“After the incident the match referee consulted with his team of officials but none were better placed to offer guidance.”
Wayne Rooney duly shot the hosts ahead from the penalty and added a second goal six minutes from time. The win lifted United above Arsenal and back into third in the Premier League table, at least temporarily, ahead of the Gunners’ Sunday clash with Everton.
Villa fail again
Tim Sherwood is still searching for his first point as Aston Villa manager after Papiss Cisse netted the only goal of the game for Newcastle in the first half at St James’ Park.
But neighbours West Brom pulled further clear of the relegation zone with a 1:0 victory over Southampton thanks to Saido Berahino’s goal in only the second minute.
Former West Ham manager Alan Pardew enjoyed his return to Upton Park as his Crystal Palace side claimed a surprise 3:1 win. Glenn Murray scored twice for Palace but was also sent off in the closing stages for a second yellow card.
Peter Crouch equalled Alan Shearer’s Premier League record of 46 headed goals seconds after coming on as a substitute in Stoke’s 1:0 win over Hull.
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