Angry Stoke City boss slams 'incredibly soft' penalty decision as Sunderland salvage late point

Fabio Borini is crowded out by Stoke City defenders
Fabio Borini is crowded out by Stoke City defenders

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes was left angry and frustrated by the 'incredibly soft' penalty awarded to Sunderland in the 94th minute that denied them three points.

Jermain Defoe won and dispatched the penalty from the spot to seal a dramatic point for Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium.

Sam Allardyce had no doubt it was a penalty, with Geoff Cameron fouling the 33-year-old striker inside the area as the game edged towards the final whistle.

Hughes, not surprisingly, saw Defoe's penalty differently to his opposite number, saying: "I thought it was a incredibly soft."

Stoke, who made five changes, had gone into the game on the back of three straight defeats.

It was a much improved performance against a nervy Sunderland side and Hughes felt the Potters deserved all three points from the game.

Hughes added: "From my point of view the referee got the decision entirely wrong because their lad [Defoe] clearly just goes over the leg of Geoff Cameron.

"It was incredibly soft and hugely frustrating because they have been able to take something out of the game when they haven’t really been able to create anything of any real note.

"I thought we dealt with them pretty well, and whilst we had to mix it up, for several different reasons, we were able to create the better opportunities and looked like the only team likely to go on and win the game.

"At 1-0 to the good, we should have taken the game by the scruff of the neck and finished it off - we certainly had enough chances to have done that.

"So to then go and concede a penalty four minutes into stoppage time and end up taking just a point from the game rather than three is incredibly disappointing."

The Welshman could at least reflect on a much better performance as Stoke's run of conceding four goals in three consecutive games came to an end.

Hughes said: "We'd seen off everything quite comfortably and had chances to put the game to bed.

"We're disappointed because performance wise it was significantly better than we've been able to produce in recent weeks.

"But I think we all felt the referee played a part in allowing them to get something out of the game, which I didn't think they really deserved.

"In terms of performance it was a significantly better performance than what we have produced in recent weeks, so to be undone the way that we were is bitterly disappointing."