Roy Hodgson angrily reflected on a red card shown to Stephen Kelly last night that arguably turned an absorbing game between Fulham and Roma at Craven Cottage.
Hodgson’s side were leading through Brede Hangeland’s first-half header when John Arne fell to the ground in the penalty area under Kelly’s challenge. Belgian referee Paul Allaerts decided to award a penalty – a controversial enough decision – before brandishing a red card in the direction of Hangeland. It was eventually given to Kelly, and although Mark Schwarzer saved the spot-kick, Roma grabbed an equaliser in the dying seconds of stoppage time.
Hodgson was not happy.
I’ve got my grave doubts as to whether it was a penalty, but they get given in those situations when a player drives into the box. They [the extra officials] got the wrong player with the red card but they should be making it clear that you can’t give that as a last-man foul when someone [Hangeland] is coming across to cover.
They brought their best players on, and we were short of numbers and we were short for a corner – which led to them equalising with the very last kick of the game. We had a marvellous first half – I thought we played very well. At half-time, we made some changes. But they bought on Mirko Vucinic and [David] Pizarro, two of their better players.
It’s very difficult to play with 10 men. But I thought the effort was magnificent, and it was cruel. After conceding a 92nd-minute goal with 10 men against West Ham, this is very hard to take.