Walter Mazzarri felt the sending off of Roberto Pereyra was “absolutely not fair” and that his team “deserved to win the game”.
Pereyra was given his marching orders in the 81st minute after reacting, much like David Beckham did against Diego Simeone, by kicking out amid some rough-house tactics from the aggressive James McClean. A flashpoint then took place in front of the touchline, with Salomon Rondon, Hal Robson-Kanu, Etienne Capoue and Adlene Guedioura in the thick of things.
“From what I saw Pereyra was fouled on the floor and the other player keeps fouling him,” Mazzarri said. “He stood up and gave a small push and that’s when I went over to separate. He was unfairly sent off and the game changed. I think it was absolutely not fair. It’s normal a player gives a small push especially after a rival was pushing him the whole time.”
McClean, who smashed the ball at the grounded Pereyra and then trampled over him, was only cautioned.
“If there was someone to be sent off it has to be the other person,” said Mazzarri. “If not you send both off. It should have never ended like that. I had no problem with their bench. You have to look at the other side. The other person [Pulis] was protesting for the whole game.”
Mazzarri was also aggrieved at the referee’s failure to spot a block on Heurelho Gomes for the first goal, scored by Jonny Evans.
“The rules are the same in England and Spain and Italy and all round Europe,” said the head coach, “that if the goalkeeper is pushed then the goal is cancelled. If you are going to block the goalkeeper, it is a foul.”
Events at the Hawthorns left Mazzarri talking about the referee for the second week running, the performance of Graham Scott following hot on the heels of the one by Robert Madley last week.
“I think I was very clear before,” said the head coach. “He [Scott] has been terrible and he changed the result of the game. I always say what I see. We played a great game that was influenced and changed the final result because of the referee. To end up with ten men the way we played, it’s something I don’t really like.”
Mazzarri felt his side deserved a draw last week and that they warranted all three points. They’ve ended up with diddly squat.
“I am happy with how my team played – it is best way we played since I came here,” he said surely referring to the second-half display. “We deserved the victory from the way played.”