(1) vs ASTON VILLA (1)
AN INJURY-TIME own goal from Richard Dunne earned 10-man Queens Park Rangers a deserved point against Aston Villa but it wasn’t enough to spare referee Michael Oliver the wrath of R’s boss Neil Warnock.
Rangers were made to pay for their first half profligacy when Oliver, 26, harshly adjudged Armand Traore to have prevented Gabriel Agbonlahor from reaching Stephen Warnock’s 58th minute cross.
Barry Bannan dispatched the subsequent penalty and Warnock was further enraged when Oliver refused to award his side spot kicks for hand ball offences committed by Villa defender Alan Hutton.
Traore was sent off in injury-time but Rangers responded instantly when Heidar Helguson’s cross cannoned off Warnock and onto the unlucky Dunne who registered the ninth own goal of his career – a Premier League record – to lift the mood inside Loftus Road, not that Warnock was prepared to dwell on the finer points of his side’s recovery.
“It felt like an injustice,” he began. “When not one Villa supporter behind the goal appeals for a penalty you know there is something wrong. It was a very soft one.
“He blows on him. He wants to give the penalty and it’s wrong. I bet there are 25,000 more tugs on that pitch.
“The first handball is embarrassing. With the Shaun Derry header the lad [Hutton] almost moved his hand down and it is the most certain 100 per cent penalty you will ever see.
“And the second one, we’re told that if you raise your hands it’s a handball. He’s raised his hands against Tommy Smith.”
Warnock did at least reserve some of his ire for Traore, who he branded a “disgrace”. The Frenchman was unlucky to receive a yellow card for the slight tug on Agbonlahor that resulted in Villa’s penalty, but the reckless lunge on Marc Albrighton was deemed unforgivable.
“I told him what a disgrace he was,” said Warnock. “I think he understood what I was saying. I will fine him as much as I can.
“It was a total amateur Sunday League sending off. Villa must have been laughing their head off. Us losing 1-0 and he goes in like that.”