26 December 2012 21:19
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was left ‘bemused’ after his team were denied what he felt was a clear penalty in their 2-1 loss to Everton.
Martinez’s men remain in the English Premier League relegation zone after goals from Leon Osman and Phil Jagielka condemned them to defeat, with Arouna Kone netting a late consolation.
But Martinez was incensed by Lee Mason’s decision not to award Shaun Maloney a spot-kick in the second half, when the Scot appeared to be tripped in the box by Osman with the score at 1-0.
He told reporters: “It was a great piece of skill and he goes past him with ease. I haven’t got any player who looks for penalties or dives.
“We’ve been given six penalties already this season and it is a shame that we didn’t get a decision that Shaun Maloney deserved there.
“There’s clearly contact. It’s a great drop of shoulder, a step over and then Osman sticks his leg out. I was bemused that he didn’t give the decision.
“From where (the referee) was, he’s got a perfect angle and it’s hard to understand.”
The Spaniard did take positives from the game at Goodison Park, insisting his side deserved at least a point.
“I thought the scoreline is hard to take for us. We knew that Goodison Park is a tough place and Everton are unbeaten (here) this season but if you watch the game you do feel that we deserve a positive result,” Martinez said.
“There is a point that the difference in the two boxes was very, very clear. The first goal is a great moment of luck for Everton – there is a deflection and not much you can do.
“I like the response that we had. I like the character that we showed. The key action (was) the penalty which is a real clear incident. It’s no good feeling sorry for ourselves. We need to get even better.”
Everton manager David Moyes later conceded his side were fortunate not to give away a penalty but said the decision was not clear-cut.
“From where I was I thought it looked like a penalty kick but when you see it again there is a bit of debate (over) was there any contact or not. Sitting in the dugout I thought ‘this looks like a penalty’,” he said.
Moyes hailed Everton’s performance, but lamented their inability to keep a clean sheet.
“Wigan are a good footballing team and they’ll cause a lot of teams problems because they can play in different ways. They’ll be hard for a lot of teams to play against this year,” he said.
“I was disappointed we didn’t keep a clean sheet but for the goal it’s an incredible handball which puts the ball into Kone’s path to score but that sometimes happens.
“We’re not saying an awful lot about it but he knocks it right in front of himself.”