Middlesbrough boss criticises two key refereeing calls in verdict on Sunderland defeat

Michael Carrick said his Middlesbrough side were on the receiving end of two incorrect refereeing decisions during their 2-0 defeat to Sunderland.

Carrick insisted that the incident which saw Sunderland take the lead and his side go down to ten was neither a foul, a penalty or a red card.

The Middlesbrough boss also felt his side should have had a late penalty.

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"Don't agree with either to be honest with you," he said.

"For the sending off, I don't think Dael has made any attempt to bring him down, there wasn't a push, a pull, a trip, he's literally running in a straight line.

"Ross is entitled to go down, I don't blame him, but from Dael's point of view there's nothing deliberate about it to try and pull him down.

"Then it's out of the box, it's not even worth me answering that. It changed the game. In big games like this you can't get them decisions wrong.

"We weren't at our best, we know that, but that's football, you can't always be at your best," Carrick added.

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"It can't always be as perfect as we want it but we were well in the game and with 10 men we dealt with that really well. I was really pleased with the lads how we dealt with that.

"Kept our shape well, looked a threat, still got on the front foot when we could and at 1-0 I still fancied us to get back in the game. "So I was really pleased with that, that was a real positive.

"We might have to go through that scenario as well. Hopefully not too soon but going down to 10 men does happen. That was a real positive. The second goal kills it, but we should have a penalty late on with five minutes to go, so that's two big decisions that have gone against us.

“The first half - that’s football. Sometimes you come to places where they have a good team and you can’t expect to have it all your own way. They have some really good players, in forward positions specifically, that can cause you problems. It wasn’t surprising, but it’s disappointing."

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Sunderland’s win moves them within one point of Carrick’s side.