An early second half goal gave Alan Pardew’s side a narrow advantage but even though the opposition were reduced to ten men his side were to be beaten by a winning penalty with the final shot of the game.
Christian Benteke stepped up to convert the spot kick but the manager was not happy with the decision to award the set piece.
"I think everyone has seen the penalty. I think if you're the referee and you see that incident and you see the centre-half pulling out of the challenge, you don't give the penalty. The linesman assumes that that little touch is a penalty. He makes the most of it and he gives it.
"If you think that touch effects the fall that he has, then you seriously need to be consulted. I'm a football person and that touch doesn't warrant the dive that he makes and it's the dive that makes the linesman's mind up. I think it's an issue that's worrying in the game."
Post match Alan couldn’t hide his disappointment at how the side failed to take advantage of having one extra man following the dismissal of James Milner. "We were disappointing after we scored, because up until that period we were great, as good as we've been. I'm frustrated with the referee, I'm frustrated with the way that we didn't push on when they went down to ten men. I'm frustrated with the substitutes who I thought should have all done better and I'm frustrated with myself as much as anything else. We have to go okay, there's nothing we can do about it, there's nothing we can do about the penalty decision, there's nothing we can do about the result today, but what we can put right is that last 15 minutes.
"The mistake affected us and made us nervous and because we haven't won for a while, of course that compounded that. When you're struggling for a win in the league, you have to react well to that, and one or two players didn't, if I'm honest.”
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