‘Terrible’ – Gary O’Neil complains about three refereeing decision in Wolves loss v Man City

The Wolves manager believed his side was unlucky to be awarded both penalties at the Etihad Stadium.
Gary O’Neil has objected to three referee rulings in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 5-1 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

Erling Haaland’s four goals and a late Julian Alvarez strike secured the points for the Premier League champions, while Hwang Hee-chan scored Wolves’ only goal of the game. City dominated the match from tip to finish and were back to their best for extended periods of time.

Wolves never really got going, and while O’Neil admitted that his team’s blunders ultimately cost them, the manager said he was astonished by the officiating in some situations. The 40-year-old had to watch the game from the stands after the FA issued him a one-match ban for recent comments he made against referee decisions.
However, O’Neil may face further repercussions from the governing body after calling City’s first penalty as a ‘poor’ decision on Saturday. While attempting to clear the ball, Rayan Ait-Nouri followed through and caught Josko Gvardiol inside the area, just as the Croat fired his shot. But O’Neil was taken aback by Craig Pawson’s on-field decision.

Wolves fans all say the same thing about penalty decision in Manchester  City loss

“I must accept responsibility for the way the game unfolds. I believe we made a number of errors for the goals, including unforced ones, which gave Manchester City some really excellent chances,” the former Bournemouth manager remarked in his post-match press conference.

“Mistakes made against this team can and have been punished. They punished us mercilessly. I’ll talk about the decisions, but I’d like to emphasize that the officials had no actual role in how the game finished tonight,” he continued.

“We accept full responsibility for the mistakes we made to give Manchester City such a boost. But I thought the first penalty was an extremely terrible decision. I thought the penalty was horrible.

Manchester City 5-1 Wolves: Premier League – live reaction

“Gvardiol probably plays as important a role in the interaction as Rayan does. He has the shot, his leg is moving through, and his action causes the contract. I’m not sure what Rayan is intended to do in that point; he can’t disappear. They are rarely used when a shot has gone over the bar and there is a coming together. It was unusual, I thought.

O’Neil wasn’t finished, as he expressed disappointment with how the second penalty of the game was awarded after Nelson Semedo tripped Erling Haaland as he bore down on goal. The spot-kick was given after a pitchside review, which O’Neil found frustrating.
“I assumed the second penalty was a penalty, but I’m amazed how they got there. I expected them to give it on the field, but I’m surprised it was overturned because Nels made minimal contact.

“I was surprised it was deemed clear and obvious, but they do reach the right conclusion on that one.”

Finally, O’Neil felt his side should have been awarded a penalty after an innocuous incident in which the ball touched Manuel Akanji’s arm in the box, with the City defender down on the deck at the time.

“Potential check for Akanji handball was not well publicized. I heard the supporters’ appeal, and when I saw the video, he was on the floor, appearing to knock the ball away with his hand.

“But, as I mentioned, so much for me to focus on with my own group, our blunders and sloppy turnovers, needed to be near to perfect to Get anything today, and we failed on countless instances.”
It is not the first time O’Neil has spoken out about referees; earlier this season, he stated that VAR is ‘creating a significant problem’ in the Premier League, adding that mistakes are damaging his reputation, Wolves’ advancement, and ‘people’s livelihoods’.

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