The shocking decision taken by the referee to send off Albert Serran in the 17th minute effectively ruined what was threatening to be a fantastic afternoon’s entertainment at the Liberty.
The first of many shocking decisions was by far the most unpopular by the referee who showed himsef to appear out of his depth and unable to make the most basic of decisions correctly. A foul by a Swansea player always seemed to warrant a card whilst Palace fouls went in the main unpunished by the cards staying firmly in his pocket.
And the irony of it all was despite the referee’s best efforts, Palace in the main looked a toothless outfit unable to break down a ten man opposition despite having all the help they wanted from the officials.
But the sending off will be long talked about by the season’s best 18,700 crowd who looked on in disbelief first as the referee saw fit to award a free kick for a perfectly good tackle and secondly the fact that he then deemed it worthy of a red card. I guess if he was stupid enough to believe it was a foul then the red card was close on inevitable but it did appear that he – and Neil Warnock – were the only people in the stadium who agreed with the decision.
And all of this came after an entertaining fifteen minutes where the Swans had been denied by a post from a Pintado shot and looked dangerous every time they got the ball with Joe Allen, Darren Pratley and Tom Butler seemingly at the heart of everything that was good about the opening sixth of the game.
The sending off though forced Paulo to sacrifice Joe for Garry Monk to shore up the defence which in the main held on with some ease although it took a couple of sharp saves from Doris towards the end of the game to keep the scoreline blank.
And maybe had Nathan Dyer been a few inches taller he would have been able to convert an Alan Tate flick on from a late corner to give the Swans a victory that would have meant the 12 men went home pointless.
The whole picture of the game was summed up at the end when Paulo Sousa visibly pushed Garry Monk away from shaking the referee’s hand with his own comment of a lack of respect from the official stating much about the manager’s views of the referee’s performance.
You really did have to feel for Serran. Having waited patiently for his chance in the side he saw it snatched away from him in such farcical circumstances with an appeal surely in the offing for the Swans and even the most inept appeals panel will overturn the deicison. Surely?
On the game itself it was a game of very few clear cut chances – Palace had their couple at the end and Pintado – as mentioned above – hit the post early on in the game but the Swans battled well and will very much given the circumstance be able to class this as a point won rather than two dropped.
There really is not much left to say about the game other than the one main talking point that ruined the game and possibly prevented the Swans getting the victory they so badly craved.
We always get sh*t refs…