Bilic laments “horror movie” finale

Posted Sunday, October 27, 2019 by PA

Bilic laments “horror movie” finale

Frustrated Slaven Bilic admitted West Brom’s controversial finale with Charlton was like a horror movie but still refused to completely condemn referee Matt Donohue.

Josh Cullen’s penalty deep into stoppage time earned the visitors a 2-2 draw and denied Albion the chance to move four points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Semi Ajayi collided with Naby Sarr in the box to force the 10-man Baggies to settle for a point after Hal Robson-Kanu looked to have given them victory.

Referee Donohue had already courted controversy in the second half when he initially sent off Grady Diangana in a case of mistaken identity before changing his decision to correctly dismiss Nathan Ferguson for a poor challenge on Chris Solly.

Macauley Bonne cancelled out Matt Phillips’ early opener and, after the second half drama, Bilic lamented the outcome.

He said: “The whole story was there for us, it was a game which would have been more than three points, with 10 men and all that. Then someone says ‘no, we’re going to make a horror movie, not a good one’.

“It’s nothing personal, it’s hard for them [referees] and I went to speak to him after the game and I needed that.

“The problem is when they tell you you can’t talk about the referee but it’s a major part of our job.

“I can be permitted to say my opinion but, with the greatest respect to Charlton, it was the decision [the penalty] which took the win away from us.”

On Ferguson’s red card, Bilic added: “He [Donohue] is human, you don’t want to have ‘blah, blah’ from your wife when you get home, not to mention 30,000 people questioning you.

“But give credit to him – he didn’t go ‘no, no, no’. He listened.”

Phillips scored after 10 minutes but Charlton levelled with Bonne’s 60th-minute header.

Ferguson was then dismissed seven minutes later for his rash tackle on Solly – but only after Donohue was persuaded to change his mind during three minutes of confusion after incorrectly giving Diangana his marching orders.

Robson-Kanu came off the bench to restore Albion’s lead with nine minutes left, yet Cullen netted from the spot in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Ajayi and Sarr collided in the box.

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer called for VAR to be introduced in the Championship, even if it may have denied his side their late leveller.

He said: “It should be because the rewards to get out of this division are massive. With West Brom’s second goal, it hits his [Robson-Kanu] arm and if that’s on VAR it’s no goal.

“I thought the referee did OK, he got the sending off right – which was the most important thing. It’s the worst and hardest job in the world.

“The penalty looked soft, but we’ve had a lot of decisions go against us over the season. Both our goals had a bit of luck to them but maybe that’s what we needed.”


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