Sunday 16 December 2018

Jay Rodriguez reported to FA over alleged comment to Gaetan Bong

Jay Rodriguez and Brighton's Gaetan Bong, right
Jay Rodriguez and Brighton's Gaetan Bong, right

West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez has been reported to the Football Association for a remark allegedly made to Brighton defender Gaetan Bong during Saturday's Premier League match between the two clubs.

Neither manager would comment on the nature of Rodriguez's alleged comment but it has been reported to the referee and he will be obliged to include in it his report, meaning the matter will be looked into by the FA.

The incident is thought to have taken place during the second half of West Brom's 2-0 victory.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton said: "Gaetan Bong has reported Jay Rodriguez for something that has been said to him. It's been handled in the correct manner by the referee. The referee is aware of what the allegations are and that will go through to the FA.

"I am aware of the allegations. All I can say is it was dealt with in the correct manner and the nature of the allegations the FA will deal with."

Rodriguez denies the claims against him, according to West Brom boss Alan Pardew.

"There's been an allegation made by the Brighton full-back to the referee and that allegation will go to the FA," he said.

"I can only say on my behalf, because I haven't seen the incident, knowing Jay Rodriguez I find it very difficult to understand if I'm honest. Jay Rodriguez claims that the allegation, whatever the allegation is, is untrue."

The incident will overshadow what was a landmark win for West Brom, whose long wait for a Premier League victory finally came to an end.

Jonny Evans' fourth-minute header set them on their way to halting a 20-game run stretching back to August, with fellow defender Craig Dawson heading in a second goal at the start of the second half.

The result will also have been a weight off Pardew's shoulders as it gave him that elusive first league success since he took over as manager nine matches ago at the start of December.

"It is a relief but we've had some really good performances here without getting the three points. I thought the team played extremely well, considering the pressure we were under," said Pardew.

"Our open play was as good as since I've been here so it's ironic we got two set-play goals - but we are strong at set plays.

"Our work this week was reflected on the pitch and that's how it should be. Work hard on the training ground and you get your reward on a Saturday. They've done that for me, I'm really pleased for the players.

"It was easy to say it was a must-win game but it was a very important game in the calendar. We worked hard to achieve the goals we wanted."

Brighton's woeful away form continues to see them slide down the table and Hughton's team are now just three points clear of the bottom three, four in front of West Brom, after a sixth successive goalless game on the road - a run which includes five defeats.

But it was Brighton's defending that irked their boss on Saturday, as he said: "The big difference was they were very strong on set plays and it was hugely disappointing for us to concede from another set play, particularly so early in the game.

"We have done more work on defending set plays in the last couple of weeks than we've done all season and we've conceded again. That's a concern, particularly so early in the game."

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