Sebastian Prodl feels referee Michael Jones will think he made a mistake in not awarding him a penalty when he sees a replay of the key incident at Old Trafford last night.
The Austrian was impeded by Matteo Darmian as he tried to connect with a deep, inswinging second-half corner from Ben Watson with the game delicately poised at nil-nil. Quique Sanchez Flores has barely uttered a word against the officials this season but even the sanguine Spaniard felt aggrieved Watford did not get the rub of the green. Prodl concurred with his head coach.
“I would have scored if he wouldn’t climb on my back,” said the big defender. “If the referee sees it on the television again he will regret his decision.”
Don Goodman was co-commentating on the game for the Premier League. The former Wolverhampton striker did his fair share of grappling in the box during his career as a handful of a striker and he felt the Hornets were hard done by at the Theatre of Dreams.
“It’s a penalty,” he said on commentary. “First of all he should score, but that’s a penalty in anybody’s book. He’s strong, he attacks the ball well and it’s a penalty. But regardless of that he has to score.”
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher felt Jones got the decision spot on.
“You think it’s penalty – I don’t,” he said on Sky Sports News this morning. “Both players are it. There is a fine line in giving one where it’s a foul and one where two players are wrestling for the ball.”
The frustration for anyone connected with Watford will be that the contact by Darmian was more blatant and forceful than that of Miles Jedinak on Troy Deeney from a corner at Crystal Palace last month.
Gallagher did, however, have sympathy with Watford over the decision to penalise Miguel Britos for a foul on Anthony Martial. Juan Mata curled in the resulting free-kick for the winner.
“It looks a foul first time but it doesn’t look a foul from here,” said Gallagher. “He’s deceived the referee.”
Serving 15 years as a Premier League referee, Gallagher felt Jones was right in waving away the half-hearted appeals for a spot-kick to be award when Daley Blind dangled a leg out after Capoue skipped inside him in the box in the first half.
“Not for me,” he said. “I think the Watford player is as guilty as the United player. The player didn’t think it was a foul tells you the story.”