Sam Allardyce was absolutely fuming with the officials following Crystal Palace’s 3-1 loss to Southampton on Wednesday night.
Having seen his players take the lead midway through the opening period after a beautifully worked move between Zaha, Puncheon, Towsend and Benteke, the Eagles boss was left steaming at the interval, after watching on in disbelief as the aforementioned winger was bundled to the floor in the build-up to the hosts’ equaliser.
Whilst Palace had got away with a handball inside the penalty area from Jeffrey Schlupp a few minutes before the incident in question, Allardyce had every right to feel aggrieved, given the boost it gave to the Saints heading into the dressing rooms. As everyone could see, Zaha was himself incensed walking off the field at the break, having not been given anything like the level of protection he deserved from the referee or his assistants.
Unfortunately for us, the remaining 45 minutes saw us surrender another two goals to the Saints, dropping what would have been a precious point in the battle against the drop. To make matters worse, Hull City picked up another massive three points at home to Boro, adding further gloss to Marco Silva’s ever-growing reputation on these shores; it was a result that almost certainly a little gusto to Sam’s attack on the assistant referee.
We now have the weekend to prepare for the visit of Arsenal to Selhurst Park on Monday night, a team we haven’t beaten at home since November 1979. With Hull and Swansea set for trips to Manchester City and West Ham respectively, a win in front of the Sky Sports’ cameras could potentially see us opening up a six point lead over the bottom three but as we all know, things are seldom that straightforward.
Hopefully we don’t see Big Sam ramping up for another assault on the officials akin to the one above in the aftermath of the Gunners’ clash.