West Brom boss Clarke slams Cazorla penalty decision

The Baggies' boss was furious with the decision to award a spot-kick for what he felt was a clear dive and was less than complimentary in his appraisal of referee Mike Jones

Steve Clarke has hit out at the decision to award Arsenal a first-half penalty in West Brom's 2-0 loss at the Emirates Stadium.

Santi Cazorla tumbled inside the area under pressure from Steven Reid, but replays showed that the midfielder made no contact with the Spaniard.

And Clarke was furious with referee Mike Jones' decision, and also felt there was a foul in the lead up to the north London side’s second penalty.

"Zero contact on the first goal. Zero. Not even close," Clarke told reporters after the game. "I'm not sure what the referee saw there. It was a bad decision for us and obviously changed the shape of the afternoon.

"Before the second penalty was given - which was a clear penalty, no complaints, Chris Brunt fouled [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain in the box - but before that, Goran Popov was fouled in the lead up to it and for some reason the referee, who’d been giving soft free-kicks all afternoon, decided not to give that one.

"It was another poor decision for us, and you can add the [Per] Mertesacker handball in the first half."

Clarke refused to comment further on Cazorla’s dive, but pulled no punches in his assessment of referee Jones' performance.

He continued: "I think the culture in the game now is that if there is a contact, players will go down probably easier than they did a number of years ago.

"In that one there was no contact. Cazorla might have thought there was contact coming but Steven pulled out of the challenge, there was no contact, and the referee should be able to see that. From where he was, he should see that."