Victorious Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew felt Stoke City could have few complaints with seeing two players sent off on Thursday.
Stoke suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat at St James’ Park, having gone ahead only to then be hampered by red cards for Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson in the space of three first-half minutes.
While visiting boss Mark Hughes expressed dismay at the performance of referee Martin Atkinson, Pardew felt the official had been left with little choice when it came to Whelan’s second yellow – for a foul on Yohan Cabaye – and the sending off of Wilson for denying Loic Remy a clear goalscoring opportunity.
“The game changed on a couple of decisions that, on reflection, I haven’t really got a problem with,” said Pardew after his side’s seventh win in nine Premier League games.
“I thought the first booking was slightly harsh on Whelan and maybe Yohan (Cabaye) was at fault as well and was lucky to get away without having a yellow himself.
“But the second one I have absolutely no issue with because Yohan gets a lot of treatment at this place and I don’t think that tackle had any indication of playing the ball.
“He (Whelan) gets sent off and then a really clever pass by (Vurnon) Anita (that put Remy through) perhaps changes the game.
“They (Stoke) lose a second player, which was definitely a sending off, and the game is completely turned on its head.”
Although Remy missed the penalty that followed Wilson’s exit, the striker was on target a minute later before grabbing one of four second-half goals for a dominant Newcastle.
“In the second half I asked the team to be clinical, to move the ball quickly, and it couldn’t have gone any better,” added Pardew.
“We were very, very good (in the) second half and I thought the Stoke players, all nine of them, conducted themselves very well, considering the pressure of having to play against what we had on the pitch at that time.”