Norwich City 1 QPR 1: Mark Hughes backs controversial penalty decision

Norwich City 1 QPR 1: Mark Hughes backs Mark Clattenburg's penalty award as the Hoops claim a point at Carrow Road

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Norwich City

Mark Hughes backed Mark Clattenburg’s decision to award Queens Park Rangers a 20th-minute penalty as the Hoops shared the points with Norwich City on Saturday.

QPR, who suffered a 5-0 thrashing against Swansea City at Loftus Road last week, fell behind within 11 minutes as Simeon Jackson headed the home side in front at Carrow Road.

However, the visitors were handed the chance to equalise from the spot nine minutes later when Sébastien Bassong tackled Djibril Cissé from behind in John Ruddy’s penalty area.

The French striker saw his tame effort turned onto the post by the England goalkeeper, but Bobby Zamora – who appeared to have edged into the area as Cissé struck his spot-kick – was on hand to turn the rebound into the net.

“I think it was right. Norwich will think it’s soft and I’d probably agree with that but there’s definitely contact,” Hughes said.

“There were probably three of ours encroaching and four of Norwich’s so I think it evens itself out. [Referee] Mark Clattenburg made the right decision there.”

But Chris Hughton, whose side suffered a five-goal defeat last weekend at Fulham, felt aggrieved by the penalty award and Zamora’s finish.

“I’m quite sure their camp will say something different but it’s a soft penalty,” said Hughton.

“Cissé was stretching for the ball and his momentum would have taken him down anyway. I accept Seb didn’t touch the ball.

“The double whammy is the pen itself. On the referee’s side Bobby Zamora is at least three yards in the box which gives him an advantage.”

Norwich and QPR moved out of the relegation zone following the draw, with the Canaries in 16th place and Hughes’ side one spot behind.


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