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Pulis defends Gardner´s Lovren challenge

SoccerNews in English Premier League 13 Dec 2015

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Tony Pulis insists there were “two worse fouls” than the one from Craig Gardner which forced Dejan Lovren to be stretchered off in West Brom’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Gardner caught the Liverpool centre-back on the knee with a heavy challenge in the second half of the Premier League game at Anfield, although he appeared to get the ball.

Lovren, who was bleeding from the knee, was taken from the pitch using an oxygen mask but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said the defender “did not feel too bad” after the match and will face a scan to determine the extent of any damage.

Pulis felt both Martin Skrtel and James Milner were guilty of worse tackles than Gardner, however, telling the media afterwards: “For me there were two worse fouls. If you want to talk about bad fouls then what about James Milner on Gardner and Skrtel on Salomon [Rondon]? 

“I saw the tape back and Gardner played the ball. The other two were bad – Skrtel went over the top and it’s a good job Salomon moved.”

Divock Origi scored from a deflected shot in the sixth minute of injury time – with Lovren’s injury resulting in eight extra minutes being played – to deny West Brom a famous victory, and Pulis was left bitterly disappointed that his side could not hold on.

“I’m more disappointed that they made it 2-2. Irrespective of the power, the talent, the money, you get smaller clubs coming to places like Anfield and giving it a go,” he said.

“This is a league where the small teams can do this. I’m just so disappointed we couldn’t get the win.

“We’ve been hard-working, resilient and we gave it a go. Stood here, now, I feel disappointed. But credit to our fans, who were brilliant today.”

Jonas Olsson – who scored West Brom’s second goal – had an earlier effort ruled out for offside after referee Craig Pawson consulted his assistant following protests from some Liverpool players.

And Pulis said he plans to speak with the officials to ascertain the reasons behind their hesitancy.

“The big disappointment is that the linesman didn’t put his flag up [at first],” he added. “They tell me he was offside so why not put the flag up? How will the referee decide if it’s offside? 

“We will speak to the officials and find out. Apparently it was the right decision but it’s disappointing the flag didn’t go up – there was a lot of doubt and confusion about it.

“The referee pointed for a kick-off and I thought it was a goal but then it was disallowed.”

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