Sunderland boss Poyet: It was a penalty for Everton

Seamus Coleman is brought down in the Sunderland area for Everton's match-saving penalty. Picture by Frank Reid
Seamus Coleman is brought down in the Sunderland area for Everton's match-saving penalty. Picture by Frank Reid

GUS POYET admits he would have awarded Everton the penalty which saw the Toffees deny Sunderland victory today.

Seb Larsson’s second-half free-kick had put Sunderland on course for back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this season.

But Everton pulled level with 15 minutes to go when Connor Wickham was penalised for a foul on Everton full-back Seamus Coleman, and Leighton Baines squeezed home the resulting spot-kick.

Sunderland’s players were incensed by the decision at the time, but subsequent replays showed Wickham fouled Coleman before he made contact with the ball.

Poyet said: “I would give it, I need to be honest.

“If I was the referee and on the pitch, I would give it.

“He (Wickham) touched the ball one quarter of a second after touching Coleman who miskicked it.

“I think from the position of the referee, it was an easy decision to make.”

While Poyet had no qualms over the spot-kick, there were too many contentious calls for the Sunderland manager’s liking.

Wickham could – and probably should – have been sent off for denying Coleman an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, yet didn’t even receive a yellow card.

Jordi Gomez could – and probably should – have got a second booking for going down theatrically over the outstretched leg of Phil Jagielka.

Everton midfielder James McCarthy could – and probably should – have received a second yellow for a deliberate handball, 25 yards out.

And Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard went unpunished for obstruction after pinning the ball to the ground with his chest, albeit replays showed he didn’t make any contact with his hands.

“I am the type of person that, for those decisions, I like it to be black or white,” added Poyet.

“For Jordi Gomez, he committed a foul and he got a yellow card. For the second, the referee said it was not a foul, but there was contact so it was not a dive either.

“I think it is a way out really.

“I didn’t know whether Connor was the last defender or not – from where I was, it looked like he was not.

“There was a lot of people talking on the pitch and, when the referee is not 100 per cent sure, sometimes they go 50-50 and give the penalty but don’t send off the player.

“For me, black or white – penalty and a red card, or nothing.

“I’m not saying that is what referees should do, just that that’s what I like.

“And we can talk about the Howard thing.

“He was on top of the ball to stop anyone getting it – can you do that?

“Can a player put his body on top of the ball to stop anyone else from touching it?

“I suppose not, so what happened there?

“I’ve never seen that before. I’ve just asked Tim about it and he said he was waiting for the ball to go into the box!

“It was tough for the ref today.

“There were lots of little things and when you add them all together, it made him (the ref) the most important man on the pitch.

“And normally, the best referees in the world are the ones that nobody remembers.”