Mark Hughes expressed his disappointment with the officials after 10-man Stoke City slumped to a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Sunderland.
Following a cagey first half, Stoke had captain Ryan Shawcross sent off in the 47th minute for a second bookable offence after being adjudged to have fouled Duncan Watmore.
Replays suggested Shawcross had won the ball in the tackle and Sunderland eventually took advantage of Mike Dean’s controversial decision.
Patrick van Aanholt powered home Adam Johnson’s lay-off from a free-kick eight minutes from time before Watmore capped off a fine run with a finish into the bottom-left corner to lift Sunderland out of the bottom three.
Speaking to Sky Sports News after the game, Hughes said: “First half we had plenty of possession but didn’t really look like scoring but neither did they. When we went down to 10 they didn’t really create that much.
“We were disappointed with the officials and their interpretation of the sending-off. They also mis-read the dive from Johnson which resulted in the free-kick that they scored from.
“Key moments and key decisions have gone against us. It [Van Aanholt’s goal] was a great strike, the lad has hit it well and that’s won them the game. The second was as a consequence of us pushing on.
“Eleven v 11 we were in the game and we showed more quality than them. Going down to 10, we were always going to struggle.”