Sunderland controversies analysed as ex-referee issues 'amazing' verdict

By Keith Hackett

28th Feb, 2022 | 5:06pm

Ex-Premier League referee issues 'huge' verdict as two Sunderland controversies analysed

Sunderland deserved both of their penalties in their 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday (26 February), according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League official hailed the “amazing” referee for getting both decisions spot on.

As shown on highlights on the club’s website, Sunderland were awarded spot-kicks in both halves at the DW Stadium and Ross Stewart converted them both to hand Alex Neil his first win.

Stewart was tripped in the penalty area by Curtis Tilt after 38 minutes and scored from the spot to double the lead after Bailey Wright’s early opener.

With three minutes to go at the end of the second half, the Black Cats were given another penalty after a Tendayi Darikwa handball.

“On the first one, he’s tripped him,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“It’s a daft penalty kick for him to give away.

“On the second one, I think there might be a push there. It would have been good if the referee gave an indication via signal.

“The referee is calm and there’s not a huge amount of protest so he’s got them right, amazing.

“A signal would have helped. He can either slap his arm to say it’s a handball or a pushing motion to indicate it has been given for a push.”

A win at high-flying Wigan has given Sunderland’s hopes of promotion a major boost with 11 League One games to go.

They currently sit in fifth, seven points behind the Latics who occupy the final automatic promotion place.

In other news, Kieran Maguire has revealed a £9million finance issue could be blocking a full Sunderland takeover.