Respected Sky Sports pundits give damning verdict on ‘infuriating’ Wolves decision at Luton Town

Sky Sports Ref Watch assessed two controversial Wolves decisions from the 1-1 draw at Luton Town on Saturday.
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Wolverhampton Wanderers were the subject of two major refereeing decisions during the 1-1 draw at Luton Town on Saturday and Stephen Warnock believes one was severely unjust.

The former Premier League full-back gave his verdict on the penalty and red card calls during Sky Sports’ Ref Watch show on Monday morning, with one far more controversial than the other.

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Gary O’Neil’s side had to settle for just a point on their venture to Kenilworth Road when they were pegged back by a Carlton Morris spot-kick, awarded for a Joao Gomes handball.

The Brazilian midfielder saw an Issa Kabore cross glance off his thigh and flick onto his raised arm. Referee Josh Smith pointed to the spot and VAR felt there was no need to intervene.

O’Neil and Warnock react to Wolves’ penalty concession

O’Neil was adamant it was a poor decision. “I can’t get my head around the penalty. The fact it hits his leg and bounces onto his arm. It’s never a penalty. If that’s a penalty we’re in a really bad place,” he said via Mail Sport.

O’Neil was furious with the decision for Luton to be awarded a penalty.O’Neil was furious with the decision for Luton to be awarded a penalty.
O’Neil was furious with the decision for Luton to be awarded a penalty.

Warnock, who played more than 200 times in the Premier League, agrees with Wolves’ head coach and thinks more benefit of the doubt should be handed to defenders.

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“A natural position is not when it’s behind your back or in front of you. The natural position when diving to block is when you put your arms out [to aid the landing].

“You wonder when common sense will prevail. It came off his thigh and up onto his arm. I can understand why O’Neil was so infuriated,” Warnock said on Ref Watch.

Warnock and Gallagher’s view on Bellegarde’s red card

The penalty wasn’t the only big officiating call of the game as Smith sent off Bellegarde in the 39th minute for a kick-out at Luton defender Tom Lockyer’s groin.

Unlike the handball, there wasn’t too much of an argument against the red – especially from Dermot Gallagher, who refereed in the Premier League for 15 years between from 1992 to 2007.

Bellegarde saw red at Luton and will serve a three-match ban. Bellegarde saw red at Luton and will serve a three-match ban.
Bellegarde saw red at Luton and will serve a three-match ban.
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“You just can’t do this as a player. I think it’s a red card, you can’t do that,” Gallagher said on Ref Watch.

Warnock, meanwhile, agrees but feels the Luton player isn’t completely in the right either. “I think it’s interesting that Lockyer instigates it and then aggravates it.

“I don’t think it’s a stomping there and he definitely didn’t kick Lockyer where he made out but you can’t kick out like that,” Warnock explained.

Wolves will have to make do without Bellegarde until October 21 as he will serve a three-match suspension. Wanderers’ next outing is at Ipswich Town in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

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