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Dermot Gallagher praises brave referee for controversial Leeds United call

Mirco Antenucci

Gallagher believes officials came to the right decision to rule out Mirco Antenucci's goal for Leeds United against Middlesbrough.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has praised the decision to rule out Leeds United's 'goal' against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Mirco Antenucci scored from close range with 'Boro 2-0 up, and it was a goal which would have set up a nervous finish for the home side.

As it was, a terrible slip from Sol Bamba let in substitute Diego Fabbrini to score a third for the home side and wrap up all three points.

The linesman had not raised his flag to rule out Antenucci's goal, only for referee Neil Swarbrick to disallow it instead.

Gallagher was a guest on SkySports HQ's Morning View on Monday September 28th, and said Swarbrick deserved credit for, in his opinion, getting the call right, even though the way the officials made the decision between them was unusual.

He said: "It's a very brave call from the referee."

Gallagher went onto add that just because the ball ricocheted off a Middlesbrough player on the way through to Antenucci, did not mean the goal should have stood.

He explained: "The Middlesbrough player is a red herring, he's got to be in control of the ball, or deliberately play it back (to be deemed in possession), as it is it's a deflection."

Leeds boss Uwe Rosler was far from happy with the way it was handled, and was quoted by The BBC after the game:

"The referee had a poor day. He [the linesman] told me he had to ask the referee so he wasn't sure. How can you give offside when you're not sure? He has to be 100% sure. It was the turning point in the game."

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