Sunderland coachPaolo Di Canio pointed out that referee Martin Atkinson’s decision not to award Jozy Altidore his first Premier League goal of the season was decisive in Sunderland’s 3-1 loss at home to Arsenal. With the score at 2-1 to the Gunners, Altidore escaped an illegal challenge from Arsenal fullback Bacary Sagna and went on to slip the ball passed the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny. Atkinson pulled the game back for Sagna’s challenge when he could have played the advantage.
“It is a mistake,” Di Canio said. “The referee has the power to wait and finish the dynamics and finish this moment and then come back and make his decision. He made a mistake. You can see Altidore is much more powerful than Sagna. He shield the ball well, it was clear that he was going to win the challenge.” He added: “That was a key moment. It was obvious that we wouldn’t have many more chances to score, so that decided the outcome of the game. It can happen, he’s a man. He made a mistake, there is no opinion. I think it is clear."