Club News

Mel left fuming

Boss unhappy at first-half display and penalty decision

PEPE Mel was left fuming by his players’ first-half performance – and a controversial Crystal Palace penalty – as Albion lost 3-1 at Selhurst Park.

The Baggies gifted the Eagles a 2-0 half-time lead as Thomas Ince (15) and Joe Ledley (27) fired the hosts in front.

But the visitors looked a different side after the break and super-sub Thievy Bifouma reduced the deficit within 40 seconds of the restart as he notched on his debut.

Unfortunately, any hopes of snatching at least a point were dealt a killer blow on 68 when referee Chris Foy awarded a penalty for Ben Foster’s challenge on Marouane Chamakh.

The Morocco striker coolly converted the spot-kick – while TV replays clearly showed the Baggies goalkeeper took the ball cleanly.

“It really wasn’t a penalty and I think the referee realised otherwise he would have sent Ben off,” said Mel.

“In a way, I wished it had been a penalty because then I wouldn’t have felt so angry.

“The penalty decision really did prevent us getting anything from the game.

“In the previous piece of play Speroni made a great save and that would have made it 2-2.

“So that penalty decision really did kill us off.

“It really was an error from the referee.”

The Albion head coach added: “I’m extremely angry.

“We really did gift it to Crystal Palace in the first half.

“The first goal was from a second ball and the second goal was from a corner.

“I really would like to know why we started so slowly.

“But if we’d played as we played in the second half then we’d have three more points right now.”

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