Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has declared himself ‘dismayed’ at the performance of referee Martin Atkinson in the 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Boxing Day, writes the club’s Official
Oussama Assaidi curled Stoke in front after half an hour at St. James’ Park, but the game changed completely soon after as the Potters went down to nine men as Glenn Whelan – from two bookings – and Marc Wilson – for a professional foul – were both sent off.
Although Thomas Sorensen kept out the penalty which resulted from Wilson’s dismissal, the hosts were soon level as Loic Remy shot deflected in, just seconds after Stoke believed they should have had a free-kick for handball at the other end.
Newcastle then ran riot in the second half as Stoke tried to keep the score down, and there was more controversy as they went 2-1 in front, as the ball appeared to go out of play for a goal kick before Yoan Gouffran steered it home. Remy, Yohan Cabaye, and Papiss Cisse with a penalty scored the Magpies other three goals.
Afterwards Hughes – who was sent from the dugout by Atkinson for his protests – was furious at the official. He said: “I was absolutely dismayed by the performance of one of our more senior referees to be perfectly honest.
“Up to the point of the first sending-off, I thought we were totally in control of the game. We were 1-0 to the good and Newcastle were finding it very difficult to really have an impact on the game.
“Then the referee makes a couple of decisions which changed the course of the game. We all say – managers, players, everyone – that we want referees to get the key decisions right, the decisions that don’t have a direct result on the result. Some of Martin’s decisions today had a direct result on the outcome.’
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