• What They Said

Pulis fumes over David Luiz tackle

ESPN staff
September 22, 2012 « Fergie: L'pool must stick with Rodgers | Chartbeat test »
This David Luiz challenge drew the wrath of Tony Pulis © PA Photos
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Hear from every manager after Saturday's Premier League encounters...

Tony Pulis was an angry man after Stoke's 1-0 defeat at Chelsea, insisting David Luiz should have been sent off for a wild lunge on Jon Walters, while also claiming Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic should be punished for diving: "It is a dreadful challenge and I really do think a referee of Premiership standard should see that for what it was," Pulis said of Luiz's tackle on Sky Sports. "[The ref] has done well today, because he has not given Chelsea any penalties. There were three or four incidents that we have watched on the telly and people have just thrown themselves to the ground."

Pulis continued: "That is a bugbear with me. When players do that, they should be highlighted. There are one or two players in the Premiership now who people know will go down very easily. We have got to do that (highlight players). Forget what they are doing in Europe, this is England. This is our game and people like that should be highlighted. Ivanovic's fall - he is a great player - Oscar went over a couple of times, it just puts enormous pressure and I thought [the ref] did well in not submitting to the pressure of those decisions."

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo confessed Luiz's challenge could have done serious damage to Walters, but preferred to play down the incident: "It was a strong tackle. Fortunately he did not catch the player fully, because I think he could have hurt him. But we accept the referee's decision and we move on from that."

David Moyes refused to acknowledge that Everton's luck had evened out after Marouane Fellaini appeared to handle in the build-up to Victor Anichebe's opener in the 3-0 win at Swansea. The missed handball came days after Everton had two goals not given against Newcastle: "No, if the referee got it wrong [for Anichebe's goal] then he got it wrong. I didn't see it. It needed an eagle eye the way it's been spotted."

Moyes added of his team's performance: "The performance was fabulous. The result is always the most important thing but the performance matched the result as well. Both were very good. We could have scored six or seven goals. We didn't, but they had three or four good opportunities and our goalkeeper thankfully made a couple of really good saves as well."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup refused to blame Nathan Dyer's senseless red card - picked up for two bookings in three minutes - nor the missed handball against Fellaini, insisting Everton were the better side: "I don't want to blame Nathan for the loss today. I think we all blame ourselves, especially for the first 30 minutes. You can always go into detail and say this should have been like this. But I think I have to look at the bigger picture and the bigger picture is that they deserved the win today and we have to improve."

Nigel Adkins could not stop himself eulogising over the performance of Gaston Ramirez, after Southampton's record signing set up what proved to be the winner in their 4-1 win over Aston Villa: "Oh, what a silky player he is isn't he!" Adkins said. "He's decent and a quality, quality footballer. He only joined us last Friday night. He had one training session with the players and one second-half performance against Arsenal and he's trained throughout the course of the week. He was outstanding as was Maya Yoshida, who was also making his home debut."

Nathaniel Clyne benefitted from Gaston Ramirez's first-time pass to score Southampton's second goal © PA Photos
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Paul Lambert labelled Villa's loss to Southampton "unacceptable", and pin-pointed an injury to Stephen Ireland as the turning point in a match they led: "If you're not bang at it, that's what can happen," Lambert said. "It's hard to pinpoint, but losing Stephen was a blow because I thought he was playing really well, but it's still no excuse to lose like that. I always think that one goal is never enough. First half was really good but the goals we lost were really poor."

A prickly Sam Allardyce blamed his side's inability to finish after West Ham needed a last-gasp Kevin Nolan equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland: "Didn't we deserve more than that on the balance of play? I thought from the start to finish we were the dominant side and created far more chances," Allardyce said. "Sunderland had four attempts at goal. That shows the dominance we created but our Achilles heel was our finishing. It wasn't good enough and that made us struggle to the very end. From a manager's point of view I have to be concerned about that."

Martin O'Neill couldn't help but feel disappointed after Sunderland let their lead slip, but he continues to be impressed by new signing Steven Fletcher: "We had some great opportunities in the second half. West Ham were pressing forward and leaving the door open for us," O'Neill said. "We should have taken advantage of it. We should have won the game. Fletcher is playing brilliantly for us. He has scored all of our goals so far. He is bringing players into play, he is proving himself an all-round high quality centre forward."

West Brom boss Steve Clarke hailed Shane Long after he came off the bench to set up the game's only goal for Romelu Lukaku against Reading: "Shane has been fantastic for me, he's come in, he's done the hard shift, he's always done the shift from the start of the game," Clarke said. "I actually spoke to him before the game and I said, 'It's your turn to have a little rest on the bench and when you come into the game, try and make a contribution' and that is what he did."

Reading chief Brian McDermott found words of praise for keeper Alex McCarthy despite their defeat to West Brom: "I thought he was excellent, Alex, he made a couple of really good saves, came for crosses, he had no chance with the goal. He'll be disappointed to not keep a clean sheet today because he deserved to keep one."

Martin Jol revealed he picked Hugo Rodallega because he knew he would be extra motivated to score against old club Wigan, which he did in a 2-1 win for Fulham: "I had a feeling and I knew that Rodallega would be motivated to do something," Jol said. "That is exactly what he did and that is nice for him and for us. We knew it would be a difficult game but, if you saw us play the first 30 minutes, I think we deserved everything."

Roberto Martinez told his side to regain the composure they showed prior to the international break in order to get their season back on track: "The start of the season has been very good in the level that we have shown, and then we have an international break and all of a sudden we get anxious to get positive results and we should be a little bit more cool about that."

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