TONY PULIS was left questioning the fact that the opposition didn’t have a player sent off for a third time this season . . . after Marouane Fellaini’s headbutt on Ryan Shawcross went unpunished in the game against Everton.
Pulis was unhappy that Fellaini escaped a red card for his clash with Shawcross, one of a number of flashpoints in the second half at the Britannia Stadium, but he also pointed to other incidents earlier this season involving David Luiz and Ciaran Clark.
The Fellaini-Shawcross clashes overshadowed other events in an entertaining encounter in which Kenwyne Jones headed his first Premier League in 16 months to cancel out an own goal from City’s captain in the closing stages of the first half.
Even Everton manager David Moyes held his hands up and stated that the Belgian international striker’s actions were unacceptable.
“I don’t think you can hide behind anything. What Fellaini has done is wrong,” commented City’s manager after the 1-1 draw with the Toffees.
“What I’m more concerned about is this is third time this season this happened to us. There was the Luiz challenge on Jon Walters, the Clark tackle on Glenn Whelan last weekend and now the three incidents which have occurred today.
“The referees have seen the challenges by Luiz and Clark, but what I want to know is whether Mark Halsey has seen these this afternoon.
“I like Mark, I think he’s a good referee. But if he has seen them, I want to know why he hasn’t acted. I thought the rules were set out in stone.”
Pulis was pleased that Shawcross did not react to the incidents, stating: “There was even a challenge from Jelavic when he jumped into him. We get up and get on with it; Ryan’s done that, he’s not gone chasing the referee which is the right thing.”
When asked about the actions of his player, Moyes admitted: “I’ve told him in the dressing room that it’s not acceptable and I won’t accept as a manager that he does that. We will take whatever punishment which is given for it.”
In looking back on the action, Pulis pointed to a miss by Leon Osman just before half time as being the pivotal moment in the outcome of the game.
“We were let out of jail by that miss,” he said. “Had we gone in at half time 2-0 down, it would have been very difficult for us to come back.
“I told them to push up another 10-15 yards after the break to see how they would respond when they had to defend and we created four or five good opportunities. So we are disappointed in the end that we haven’t won the game.
“I was delighted for Kenwyne that he got the goal; it seemed to give his confidence a lift and he caused them problems until he tired late on.”
He added: “Once again, the supporters played a big part too. They’re like a pulse which runs through the side and they helped get us going.”