Referees make errors, too, and Lee Mason is in impossibly hot water after a baffling sequence of events — and two missed Brighton penalties — helped West Bromwich Albion hold onto a 1-0 win that keeps their Saturday visitors in relegation danger.
The Baggies led 1-0 when Brighton defender Lewis Dunk stroked a quick free kick home for 1-1, but referee Lee Mason blew his whistle and called it no goal. He then changed his mind and ruled it a goal before VAR reviewed the decision and took it off the board.
[ MORE: Three things from WBA – Brighton ]
PGMOL released a statement saying that Mason’s second whistle came before the ball entered the goal, rendering it null.
Throw in penalties off the woodwork from Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck, as well as an early West Brom goal and Brighton loses a game 1-0. Insanity, even for the hard-luck Seagulls.
Dunk was fuming after the final whistle.
“It’s embarrassing: A horrendous decision,” Dunk said on NBCSN. “I said to the ref, ‘Can I take it?’ he blew his whistle and I took it. Just cause you’ve got so much pressure from the bench and players. VAR doesn’t know what he said. It’s a horrendous decision. When will he comes speak to the press like me? When will he come say his point? Never. They’ll hide behind their buffer.”
“I don’t think he knew what he was doing. He gives the goal? Why did he give the goal? Why does VAR get involve cause he said the words?”
🗣"It is embarrassing, a horrendous decision, he blew his whistle and I took it, why don't he come speak to the press, never, they hide behind their bubble"
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 27, 2021
Potter reiterated that he was told the same story as Dunk.
He’s more upset that he can’t say for sure what did happen on the pitch.
“I don’t know what the second whistle is,” said the Brighton manager. “The confusion is I don’t understand that. … The confusion is on the pitch and it gets worse when somebody from outside of this area is making the decision. It is what it is. We haven’t helped ourselves with two penalties and we couldn’t put it away.”
West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone claims that Mason told Brighton the ball was kicked before he whistled. Replays showed that Dunk started his run before the whistle was blown but the ball was not struck before it sounded.
“That’s not what the ref said,” Johnstone said. “He said you’ve kicked it before I’ve whistled. I don’t think I’ve seen a free kick taken like that in 10 years. It is what it is. Surely they can’t get something like that wrong. He’s took it before he’s whistled and there’s confusion. That’s nothing to do with us. There are two penalties as well and thankfully they’ve not gone in.”
It’s a mess either way, and West Brom will be hoping it’s the equivalent of the GDS error between Aston Villa and Sheffield United last season that helped Villa stay up.