'There’s no way that’s a penalty kick' - This is why Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton was wrong about penalty claims in Sunderland game

Joey Barton slammed the referee after watching his side lose to Sunderland at the weekend – but a former official has revealed why a key decision was the correct one.

By Richard Mennear
Monday, 29th March 2021, 5:06 pm

Barton and the vocal Bristol Rovers presence at the Memorial Ground on Saturday were left incensed when Luke O'Nien was fouled by Brandan Hanlan in stoppage time, claiming the decision should have gone the other way.

Sunderland created the better of the chances throughout the game to leave Barton's side second bottom of the table with eight matches left to play.

Speaking after the game, Barton said: “Obviously there’s disappointment in losing and not picking up any points in another game, but there were lots of pleasing things that we can take moving forward.

Joey Barton.

“With a bit of better refereeing and with referees making the correct calls we probably would’ve drawn the game because we’ve had a stonewall penalty, which for some odd reason was given as a free-kick to them.

"My mind boggles with the officials at the minute, it feels like there’s an agenda somewhere and we can’t have had 10 bad officials at the level we’ve had. They’ve been really, really poor and again on Tuesday night we had another legitimate goal ruled out which cost us three points.

"Today, we’ve had a penalty given as a free-kick for them, which has cost us another point so, what can I do? I want to say to you how I really feel, but that will get me suspended and fined because they come down on you like a tonne of bricks.

"They’re making poor decisions and are costing us four points this week. Nothing will be done though, they’ll go back to their jobs on Monday, but it really is destroying the game.”

But Keith Hackett, ex-Premier League and FIFA official, told Football Insider: “I think the referee’s got that one spot on.

"He’s gone in to head the ball, the number nine is looking for the contact. There’s no way that’s a penalty kick.

"The referee’s got it spot on. The point I would make is the referee was in a great position, he was positive in his decision and signal. It’s a good piece of refereeing.”