Sam Allardyce was thankful that Sunderland didn’t pay the price for bungling referee Graham Scott in their crucial encounter at Swansea.
Scott was drafted in to officiate last night’s clash at the Liberty Stadium after Andre Marriner – who had originally been scheduled to take charge of the fixture - withdrew through illness.
But Scott - taking charge of only his third Premier League game this season – endured a shocker, as he awarded the hosts an appallingly soft penalty and then dismissed Swansea right-back Kyle Naughton in equally laughable fashion.
With the linesmen failing to spot offside calls on Jermain Defoe for two of his three goals, the officials endured a miserable evening, yet Sunderland weren’t punished as they came away with all three points.
Allardyce said: “I think he (the referee) made some mistakes, some errors for both sides.
“And when a referee can make a decision that goes against you, then you don’t want to punished by that mistake by not picking up any points. We came back to overcome the penalty decision and then won the game.
“But obviously Swansea had some bad decisions for them as well.
“It hasn’t affected us with the result and we’re very, very pleased about that.
“In his defence, I have to say that he pointed out that he knew how big the game was for both of us before the game.
“But things happen under pressure and when people are under pressure, they make mistakes.”
Swansea equalised through Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty after Wes Brown was penalised for fouling Andre Ayew, despite replays clearly showing that the Ghanaian international had kicked his trailing leg.
But the clangers were for both sides, with Naughton dismissed for a high boot despite cleanly winning the ball in a tackle with Yann M’Vila.
Swansea still managed to take the lead just three minutes after that red card, yet Sunderland fought back to register back-to-back league wins.
“I thought it was a soft red card,” added Allardyce.
“I thought the penalty against us was a very, very soft penalty and that changed the game at that particular point. We were in total control at that point.
“He’s kicked the floor and fallen over and we had to overcome that.
“It didn’t look like it was going to help us overcome it when he sent the player off because they went and scored.
“When they got 2-1 up, that made it so much more difficult for us too because they had something to protect.”