Stoke City manager Mark Hughes used his post match press interview to vent his frustration at the decisions that went against his side this weekend. Stoke suffered defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace despite taking the lead only 14 minutes into the first half.
Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic was controversially penalised for bringing down Eagle's winger Yanick Bolasie leading to referee Andre Marriner to award the visitors a penalty. Mark Hughes judged Bolasie to have raised his foot to a height that was dangerous to the oncoming Begovic.
The penalty decision was to mark a bizarre 10 minutes as the Eagles scored once again after winger Wilfried Zaha had put the visitors ahead.
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The second controversial decision came when Stoke striker Diouf's goalbound shot in the second half appeared to be blocked with the hands of Palace defender Joel Ward. Andre Marriner judged the hand ball accidental as the player threw himself at the ball to stop the strikers attempt on goal.
The event led Mark Hughes to accuse Joel Ward of making 'the best save of the match'.
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'That decision left us scratching our heads,' said Hughes. 'Referee Andre Marriner missed a lot of things. I know Julian Speroni did well in the Palace goal but arguably that was the best save of the match. He has got two hands on it for heaven's sake. How he doesn't give it, I've no idea.'
The result now sees Stoke slip to ninth while Palace are now 11 points above the bottom three and Alan Pardew is above his former club Newcastle United in the table. Pardew appeared pleased with the three points which all but mathematically ensure the Eagle's league survival.
'It was a cracking game particularly if you were a neutral or a Palace fan,' said Pardew. 'I think Stoke were unhappy about our penalty. I haven't seen it back but it was a turning point.'
Pardew compared what happened to Six Nations rugby. "There was raw aggression," he said. An aggression, indeed, which contributed towards seven bookings and eventually an unlikely victory for his side.
Pardew said it reflected the character of his players, a group capable of swiping results away from opponents through "golden spells" of domination. This season, Palace have now taken 18 points from losing positions, the best record in the Premier League.
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