Wednesday 18 July 2018

‘Devastated’ Lambert won’t apportion blame after Stoke’s last-gasp penalty miss

Charlie Adam had the opportunity to seal all three points for the Potters but saw his spot-kick saved.

Paul Lambert
Paul Lambert

By Press Association Sport staff

Stoke boss Paul Lambert stressed he would not be blaming individuals after the 1-1 draw with Brighton at the bet365 Stadium that saw the hosts have a late penalty saved.

The relegation-threatened Potters were awarded a 90th-minute spot-kick when referee Bobby Madley judged that Jese Rodriguez had been fouled by Dale Stephens.

After Jese complained in animated fashion about not being given the chance to do so, it was fellow substitute Charlie Adam who took the spot-kick, and saw his effort from 12 yards saved by Mathew Ryan.

Lambert, whose 18th-placed side had cancelled out Jose Izquierdo’s 32nd-minute finish through a Xherdan Shaqiri strike in the 68th minute, said afterwards: “I’m devastated for the players.

“When you get a penalty in last minute it’s a big opportunity to win the game.

“But the penalty’s a lottery, a hit or a miss.”

When asked about the way Jese, on what was his first appearance since November, had acted after the penalty was given, Lambert added: “I would be more concerned if everybody shied away from a penalty and didn’t want to take it.

“That’s when the problems arise. But they wanted to take it. They wanted to win the game, which is normal, but they also want to score.

“Who is to say Jese would score? Nobody knows. Charlie felt confident enough to hit it.

“I would never blame anybody. It is not a blame culture. We win as a team and we lose as a team.

“Charlie felt good because he scored the last one. He scored against Coventry (last month) and has a great left foot.

“If you ask Charlie to put a ball anywhere he’ll do it. It’s just in that moment, the goalkeeper has made a save.”

After Ryan parried Adam’s shot, the Scot was also thwarted on the follow-up, with Brighton defender Lewis Dunk reacting quickest to force the ball behind.

There was then further frustration for the hosts as Mame Diouf’s header was cleared off the line by Anthony Knockaert.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton thought it had been a “real poor decision” to give the penalty.

Asked about the spot-kick award, Hughton said: “Very soft.

“My impression at time was it was soft, but you never really know until you see again, and my view hasn’t changed.

“Dale Stephens and Jese are both in effect holding each other, and if anything, it almost looked like Dale was pushing him off him, but – when you see what goes on in a box – not in aggressive way.

“I thought it was a real poor decision.”

Brighton are 13th, three points better off than Stoke, who are level on points with 17th-placed Newcastle having played a game more than the Magpies.

Press Association

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