Birmingham came from behind to defeat West Brom in a local Midlands derby on Friday night, but Baggies manager Carlos Corberan was enraged at a contentious penalty decision that lost his team the game. West Brom’s head coach, Carlos Corberan, felt his team played “against more than just 11 players” in a 3-1 derby triumph against Birmingham, thanks to a disputed penalty.
Juninho Bacuna scored from 12 yards after referee James Linington pointed to the spot following Cedric Kipre’s clumsy lunge on the sliding Koji Miyoshi.
John Eustace’s hosts did not look back after that, with Dion Sanderson heading the Blues ahead in the 38th minute before replacement Gary Gardner clinched victory with an 87th-minute free kick.
Corberan struggled to control his rage following the Championship match, putting himself at risk of punishment with his post-match statements.
“Today, we competed against more than just 11 players,” Corberan explained.
“It’s difficult to analyze the game without mentioning the penalty, which changed the game.”
“When you’re a coach and you put your life into this work – and I put my life into this work – how do you feel?
“It was one action where the player (Miyoshi) slipped in front of Kipre, you have to consider if it was a penalty.
“Their other two goals came from a second phase set-piece and a free-kick.
“In a month’s time, no one will remember this, but I will never forget this. This action has had a massive impact.
“I feel emotionally it affected the concentration of our players because in football and in life when something is unfair, it’s difficult to accept.”
John Swift put West Brom ahead in the fifth minute with his sixth goal of the season.
Then came the hotly-disputed equaliser in the 23rd minute, with Bacuna sending Alex Palmer the wrong way for his first Championship goal of the season.
Birmingham went ahead when Dion Sanderson guided a header high into the net from Cody Drameh’s deep cross before Gardner curled home a delightful free-kick from the edge of the area.
“I thought he was blowing for a corner, but I didn’t see the incident,” Blues head coach Eustace acknowledged.
“However, I believe it was a true Birmingham City performance; we played some exciting football at times, but we also had to dig in and fight at times, and that togetherness is what this football club is all about.”
“We had to do that at times and I couldn’t be any prouder of the players and the fans.”
“I love winning games and I’m an emotional person,” Eustace said as City celebrated with a lap of honor.
“Tonight was a special night – we were playing West Bromwich Albion at home in front of a full house, live on the telly and it was a big game.”