Sam Allardyce has hit out at Martin Atkinson after the referee opted not to penalise Saido Berahino for a foul in the lead-up to his decisive goal in West Brom’s 1-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday.
Allardyce, who took over from Dick Advocaat as Sunderland manager last week, saw his first game in charge end in a defeat due to a 54th-minute blunder from Costel Pantilimon.
The Sunderland goalkeeper fumbled a Chris Brunt cross under pressure from Berahino, who pounced to tap into an empty net and give West Brom a narrow victory.
Sunderland remain winless with just three points from nine Premier League games, but Allardyce believes his team were at least deserving of a draw.
“We have had a point taken away from us today which wasn’t our fault,” Allardyce said in quotes reported by BBC Sport.
“In our position that’s a hugely precious point, even at this stage of the season. It’s a big mistake by the referee. It was a clear foul in two areas.
“One, he [Berahino] has jumped backwards into our goalkeeper when he is not even looking at the ball and two, he handled the ball in front of him to score.”
Sunderland’s next opportunity to earn a much-needed victory will come in their derby at home to Newcastle United next Sunday.