Stoke City v Norwich City referee watch - Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver (Northumberland) made some strange calls, with the throw-in that led to the only goal illustrating the point.

In that case his indecision was final – and fatal. Seems to be have overcome the urge to wave the red card, though.

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert revealed in his post-match press briefing that Oliver had been over-ruled by his near side assistant regarding the pivotal throw-in when Elliott Bennett's sliding challenge deflected the ball against Marc Wilson.

'I think it was our throw,' said Lambert. 'The referee has actually indicated it is ours and is walking away as if it is a throw to us and waved his hand a little bit as if to say it was a Norwich throw.

'The linesman has over-ruled him, for some reason. I think it was there for everybody to see that it was a Norwich throw. He did actually admit to me going up the tunnel that he was giving it to us, but the linesman for some reason over-ruled him.


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'The players were making that point to the referee at the final whistle. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that, but we are not going to beat ourselves up about it. He said the linesman was in a better position, but looking back at it then the referee is equally as close. He has let the linesman change his mind.'

Norwich City defender Zak Whitbread added: 'From where I'm standing it was our throw. Without wanting to get into trouble, they'll make their own decisions and whether they know or not is not for me to talk about – but we are disappointed with it.

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Stoke boss Tony Pulis conceded Norwich City may have had a case over the contentious throw-in.

'I haven't seen it again but if that is right then we have got a little bit of luck - which I felt we deserved,' he said. 'I thought we were the team trying to go forward and win it.

• Referee rating: 5/10

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