Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pulis unhappy with referee Oliver after West Brom concede late equaliser

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Sep 2017

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Tony Pulis was once again unhappy at the standard of officiating after West Brom conceded an equaliser deep into stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Watford.

Having publicly complained about a penalty decision that didn’t go his side’s way during their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Monday, Pulis felt referee Michael Oliver was guilty of making two crucial mistakes in the closing stages of Saturday’s game at The Hawthorns.

Oliver awarded a free-kick after judging James McLean had fouled a Watford player near the touchline – a decision the West Brom boss didn’t agree with.

Jose Holebas’ resulting delivery from the left was headed in by Richarlison as the visitors – who had trailed 2-0 at one stage in the first half – claimed a point in the fifth minute of stoppage time, despite the board initially indicating there would only be four added minutes.

“It’s not a free-kick – James McLean played the ball. (Michael) Oliver’s in a great position to see that and to see where the ball goes,” Pulis told Sky Sports.

“He slid in. If he takes the player or it’s reckless, fair enough. But it’s a good, old-fashioned slide tackle that plays the ball. He actually takes the ball.

“Even then, that’s time. He (Oliver) did it in the first and second half – he played a minute over time. They wait until that phase has finished, but if it is 94 minutes and a phase, let everyone know.”

While frustrated by incidents outside of his team’s control, Pulis also felt his players failed to live up to their otherwise high standards when trying to deal with the late set-piece opportunity.

“We are not inside the players. We worked very hard on defending set-plays, and the lads have done brilliantly today,” he said.

“The amount of balls Watford get in the box, long throws, they play long angled passes, they do really load it up. With (Andre) Gray on at the end, they are physically strong.

“But I thought we coped really well. I don’t think Ben (Foster) had a shot to save really.”

The result means West Brom are still yet to win at home since the opening day of the Premier League season.

“We needed the win. It’s a mental thing at home. We haven’t lost in the league at home, but that’s our third draw in as many (league) games,” Pulis added.

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