The Referee and Gonzalo Jara = The two villains at Bloomfield Road last night. Despite being reduced to nine men after 29 minutes, West Bromwich Albion put in a heroic performance and could so easily have got a point.
Before I go on to talk about the two major decisions of the game, the team spirit the Baggies have shown this season has been incredible and all three promoted teams have been a breath of fresh air for the Premiership.
Many Albion fans will have been optimistic about getting something from the game against Blackpool. Both sides were involved in two thrilling games last season in the Championship and last nights game was no different.
Pablo Ibanez’s sending off was harsh and Michael Oliver really does need to look at himself. Ibanez was the last man but he was not denying DJ Campbell a clear goal scoring opportunity.
Campbell in my view went down too easily and at worst it should have been at least a yellow card for the Spanish defender.
Charlie Adam just about tucked the ball home from the penalty spot after Scott Carson guessed the right way. 1-0 to Blackpool and things were about to get a whole lot worse for the Baggies.
Gonzalo Jara went in two footed on Luke Varney and at any level you cannot do that. Varney was going nowhere and if Jara had stayed on his feet, then Albion will have had 10 men on the field by at least half-time.
What the Chilean right back did was probably just down to frustration after Pablo’s harsh sending off but at the same time there was no need for it and Jara should know better.
Even though Albion were down to nine men, Di Matteo’s side proved more than a match for the 11 men of Blackpool for the rest of the game. The Tangerines certainly made hard work of it.
Once Varney netted Blackpool’s second goal just after the hour mark, it seemed to be game set and match to the Bloomfield Road outfit. But No back came Albion.
They might have been 2-0 down, but West Brom were continuing to create chances and Youssouf Mulumbu’s superb goal five minutes from time led to a nervy finish.
Steven Reid missed a guilt edged chance to equalise in injury time. The former Blackburn Rovers midfielder blazed over from eight yards out after Blackpool failed to clear a long free kick.
The Baggies will feel hard done by after last nights events but once they were down to nine men; every single Albion player played their heart out and were unlucky not to get anything from the game.
Albion still remain in the top six and I don’t think Di Matteo should be disheartened by his teams encouraging/heroic display. With Manchester City next up, it will be interesting to see how Albion bounce back from yesterday’s narrow defeat.
As for the referee, he was right to send Jara off but I question his decision to send Pablo off. It was never a sending off in a million years and I hate to say it but Michael Oliver got it wrong.
Even Ian Holloway admitted it was never a sending off and Pablo’s red card did spoil the game as a spectacle
We should be looking back at the game rather than talking about the referee but in this instance, I feel West Brom do have every right to feel aggrieved about the referee’s performance last night.
It is difficult don’t get me wrong for referees to make decisions on the spot but mistakes are happening too often and something needs to be done.
Too often this season, referees have made terrible blunders and these decisions could cost teams come the end of the season. Just when you need Pierluigi Collina!
Roberto Mancini’s billionaires head to The Hawthorns this weekend and I personally feel now is a good time to be playing Man. City.
City at the minute appear to be a team of individuals and in recent games they have lost their way. Team morale doesn’t seem to be high amongst the blue half of Manchester and this is something Albion can capitalise on.
Most West Brom fans would probably take a point but I feel at the same time that Mancini’s side are there for the taking.
Either Gianni Zuiverloon or Steven Reid will probably deputise at right back for the suspended Jara. If Jonas Olsson is fit then the Swede will partner Gabriel Tamas at the back.
Also fingers crossed James Morrison and Peter Odemwingie are given the green light to play this weekend.
Up The Baggies and Keep the Faith Baggies fans!