There were other little talking points. Nolan getting away with a clear yellow card offence, the cynicism of the Gomez foul that brought him his card, the nastiness of Downing’s challenge on Reveillere.
I covered some of this ground in my ESPN match report at http://www.espnfc.com/club/sunderland/366/blog/post/2197665/altidore-miss-encapsulates-sunderlands-scoring-woes
Have your say, here or there ….
There were elements of fortune in both goals.
James Tomkins would expect to get away eight times out of 10 with his slight push into Adam Johnson’s back. Allardyce was furious that he did not and referee Phil Dowd awarded the penalty from which Jordi Gomez coolly opened the scoring. I thought the contact was slight but that Allardyce’s rage ought better be directed at Tomkins for making such a stupid challenge as Johnson seemed to have beaten him in the area.
Just seven minutes later, at the other end, Downing cut in from the right and fired low with a shot that Pantilimon, reassuring throughout, would probably have saved but for a cruel deflection off Gomez.
Sunderland might have had a second penalty when a Santiago Vergini cross clearly struck Winston Reid’s arm midway through the second half. Dowd dismissed the strong appeals; some referees would have judged that the contact that was made came with the arm in an unnatural position.
That’s just a couple of extracts. But if you have thoughts on the relatively few controversies of the game – and I should admit now that I rate Phil Dowd – it is open to you to say so.