Sunderland 1 Arsenal 3: Di Canio fumes at referee’s ‘big mistake’
Sunderland 1 Arsenal 3: Paolo Di Canio describes referee Martin Atkinson's failure to award goal as a "big, big mistake"
A furious Paolo Di Canio described referee Martin Atkinson’s failure to award Sunderland an equaliser as a “big, big mistake” after the Black Cats were beaten by Arsenal.
Olivier Giroud put the visitors 1-0 up at the Stadium of Light early in the first half but Craig Gardner levelled from the penalty spot shortly after the break following Laurent Koscielny’s foul on Adam Johnson.
Aaron Ramsey then swept home to restore the Gunners’ lead, before the official’s decision sparked controversy at the Stadium of Light.
It came in the 70th minute, when Atkinson failed to play the advantage after Jozy Altidore appeared to be fouled by Bacary Sagna, with the Sunderland striker slotting home after the referee had blown for a foul just outside the box.
Ramsey then scored his second of the afternoon to hand the Gunners victory – and the Sunderland boss was less-than-pleased after the game.
“This is a big mistake,” said Di Canio. “It’s obvious, this is not Paolo Di Canio’s opinion, the referee has to wait and see how the action finishes.
“When it is body to body with Jozy Altidore and Bacary Sagna, he has to wait until how it finishes and not stop the game. It was a big, big mistake.”
Altidore also felt the goal should have stood after nothing amounted from the resulting free-kick.
“I was just tussling back and forth with Bacary Sagna but I thought the referee was going to let us play,” said Altidore.
“I got the better of him and then finished it off but I didn’t hear the whistle and it was brought back.
“The keeper didn’t either as he played 100 per cent and I think Kieran Gibbs tried to clear it too. It was a good time to score and it would have been a good reward for us.”