The game was only four minutes old when Capoue put in a crunching challenge on Wilfried Zaha’s achillies and escape with a booking, and with all 11 players on the pitch after the restart goals from Roberto Pereyra and Jose Holebas saw the hosts claim the victory, despite Zaha pulling one back.
However, Hodgson believed that Taylor did a good job of officiating in a tense encounter, and speaking in his post-match press conference, he discussed:
Capoue’s challenge: “At the time I thought it was a bad challenge on the sideline, but I had no idea quite the degree of severity so I had to wait until after the game and see it on the television. It definitely affected Wilf because we didn’t see the best of him until late in the game, and I suppose that one can understand that type of challenge affecting him.
“In spite of that, the referee today had a very good game and I wouldn’t like to be quoted saying he missed something. In every football match these days, when you analyse it with the benefit of television there’s always something that you have missed.
“He jumped in with the yellow card very early in the game, and at the time I was think that was good as he wasn’t giving them a free hit – as soon as he saw the foul he stepped in and sanctioned him. As it turns out with hindsight and the benefit of TV, he could have sanctioned him even harder.”
The performance: “I thought the first half was good, we were in the driving seat for the best part of it and created two really good chances. Ben Foster showed what a top-class goalkeeper he is, in particular the save he made from Benteke’s header as that was a goal all the way.
“Had we come in at 1-0 we would have deserved that, but we didn’t start as well in the second half and we had spell where our passing wasn’t as good as it had been. As a result they had a little bit more possession in and around the penalty area and scored a good goal, and the thing that did for us was the second. I’m pretty convinced that he wasn’t aiming to put the ball in that top corner, but that’s where it went.”
Reaction to being 2-0 down: “We could have thought it wasn’t our day. We lost Tomkins in the warm-up and had to do without Wan-Bissaka for the game, so the players could have easily taken on the attitude that things were contriving against us, but we didn’t do that.
“In the last 20 minutes or so we really asked a lot of questions, so much so that we pulled a goal back and perhaps should have equalised with the header in the last minute. If it had finished 2-2, we could have been satisfied with the game as on the balance of 95 minutes, we would have been worthy of a point. However, ee didn’t get it, so now we have to make ourselves ready for the next one.”