AUDIO: Pardew says referee wasn’t ‘brave’ on key decision

Alan Pardew: the referee needed to be brave

Alan Pardew: the referee needed to be brave

Arsenal were sharper than Crystal Palace today in their 2-1 win at Selhurst Park, according to Eagles manager Alan Pardew.

Arsenal took all three points after Olivier Giroud gave them a well-deserved lead with an instinctive and acrobatic effort after 18 minutes, but Joel Ward got Palace right back into the game with a long-range shot just before the half-hour.

Palace might have taken the lead early in the second half, and the turning point in the game, according to Pardew, was early in the second half when Connor Wickham, making his home league debut, hit the post. Arsenal grabbed the win after Damian Delaney sliced a Sanchez header into his own net.

In his post-match interview, Pardew paid tribute to his own side and praised his midfield signing, Yohan Cabaye. “Cabaye was as good as anyone in Arsenal today,” he said.

“Our stadium was terrific again, and they know that this team is a good team.”

But the Palace manager also felt that Arsenal could have been reduced to 10 men when Francis Coquelin escaped a second yellow card for what many felt was a bookable challenge just before half-time. “It’s a decision, in my opinion, that Lee Mason needs to be brave on,” Pardew said.

Listen to the interview in full here:

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[Apologies to Apple users – the audio is available in Flash format and therefore not compatible with your iPhone]

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