Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes West Bromwich Albion’s equalising goal against Arsenal shouldn’t have counted, something which could have drastically changed the outlook of the game, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.
The former ref claims Jonas Olsson obstructed Per Mertesacker during the free-kick, preventing the giant German from getting anywhere near the ball. We were caught cold for James Morrison’s goal, with the defending from the set-piece extremely poor. Mertesacker could have got his head to the ball if he wasn’t being manhandled by the Swede, and if they hadn’t equalised things could have gone entirely differently.
“Well, he’s definitely blocked Mertesacker off so when the ball goes forward the assistant has watched Morrison come through,” he said.
“The only argument would be is it a foul on Mertseacker?
“It’s a block and if it’s seen he could well get punished, but it didn’t get seen.”
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The Baggies only registered one shot on target against us that day, yet still managed to win the game 2-1. We were unquestionably poor, but when you concede two goals to a team that only had one shot on target you’ve unquestionably been a bit unlucky.
If Tony Pulis’ side were penalised for Olsson’s foul or if Mertesacker was allowed to get his head on the cross then the game could have had an entirely different outcome, and we could even have been top of the table right now.
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We obviously can’t rely on luck and small margins like these, and if we want to lift the title then we have to be beating teams like West Brom comprehensively. Dropping points against the relative minnows of the English top flight puts more pressure on the bigger games, and more pressure is not what we need at the moment.