Swansea City and Middlesbrough’s clash at the Liberty Stadium yesterday was certainly controversial for a number of decisions, and it led to a classic Neil Warnock rant live on television.
A first half Andre Ayew goal had given the home side the lead, but Sam Morsy looked to have snatched a point for the long trip back to Teesside in the 91st minute.
But another stoppage time penalty decision went Swansea’s way, just like it did in midweek against Stoke City, as George Saville was adjudged to have brought down Jake Bidwell just inside the area.
Referee Gavin Ward took a few seconds to make his decision, but he eventually pointed to the spot and Ayew converted to win the game in the 97th minute for the Swans.
Whilst that decision was debatable, there was another incident earlier in the second half that really riled Warnock.
Yannick Bolasie looked like he made a clean interception on a loose ball as he battled with Jay Fulton, with the ball rolling to left-back Marc Bola who fired in from the edge of the box.
Ward though blew his whistle for a foul by Bolasie at the same time as Bola struck his shot, prompting fury from Boro players and in particular coach Ronnie Jepson on the touchline.
Quiz: Have each of these 24 ex-Middlesbrough players retired or not?
Derby County defender Curtis Davies was a pundit for the match and he was in disbelief at the referee’s decision to blow up for a foul on the Boro winger.
“I think it’s a bad decision,” Davies told Sky Sports, per The 72.
“I feel so frustrated for him (Warnock).
“But I can’t believe he’s given that. Bolasie clearly wins the ball.
“We said at the time Warnock would be sick watching that. The more I watch it the more I get frustrated and I’m not connected to Middlesbrough.”
Despite there being a slight knocking of knees between Fulton and Bolasie, it wasn’t enough to send him down and the latter’s tackle was a clean one.
The penalty was also debatable, with closer angles showing that Saville actually got his leg in-front of the ball and Bidwell kicked through his leg to get a shot away.
So you can understand exactly why Warnock was furious at the end of the match, and neutrals alike have been agreeing with his latest rant about refereeing standards.