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.”
Copyright 2014 WEST BROMWICH ALBION FOOTBALL CLUB LTD. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.wba.co.uk as the source.
West Bromwich Albion, WBA and Baggies are registered trademarks of West Bromwich Albion Football Club Ltd. The club is also known as West Brom.