Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has conceded that Fabricio Coloccini didn’t deserve to get sent off in yesterday’s Tyne-Wear derby, but claimed to have no doubts that a penalty was the correct decision.
Georginio Wijnaldum saw his own penalty shout waved away before the Black Cats countered, with Jermain Defoe slipping a ball through for Steven Fletcher to run on to, only for the Magpies’ captain to barge him to the floor inside the area.
The Argentine’s contact was forceful and his protestations of it being a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge didn’t have much credence.
It’s unclear whether Fletcher would have reached the ball before the onrushing Rob Elliot, but the letter of the law states Coloccini had to go regardless.
“I didn’t want to see a red card, I said that after the game,” Allardyce told the ‘Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast’ show on talkSPORT this morning (aired at 08:40).
“I think it’s a penalty, if he doesn’t get that contact Steven Fletcher scores – I think he’s good enough in that position on his left foot.
“Unfortunately we can’t influence UEFA enough to change that rule, I think it’s a bad rule, the penalty is enough (punishment).
“It’s not a dangerous challenge but the rules say if you deny a goalscoring opportunity then it’s a red card so unfortunately for Newcastle they went down to ten men,” he added.
The Magpies were well on top before the sending off and will feel they would have taken something from the game had the numbers remained even.
But they didn’t, and the buzz of last week’s 6-2 defeat of Norwich has now been replaced by an all too familiar disappointment which Steve McClaren must ensure does not linger after the visit of Stoke on Saturday.