Hull City defender Andy Robertson has claimed that referee Mark Clattenburg apologised to Hull players after Alexis Sanchez's controversial opening goal in the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal was allowed to stand.
The Gunners’ opening goal was given even though the ball clearly hit Sanchez’s hand on its way into the net, before the Chilean completed the win with a penalty after Hull’s Sam Clucas was red-carded for handball of a goal-bound effort.
"Yeah, it was handball," Robertson told TV reporters afterwards. "When we came out at half-time, the referee's apologised to us and said there was handball so he's obviously looked at it at half-time and seen he was in the wrong.
"It happened so quick that it's a tough one for the ref, you've got to kind of feel sorry for him and that, but at the end of the day those decisions don’t really go for you when you come to these big stadiums and that’s killed us at the end of the day. If we go in 0-0 at half-time I think we would have come away with some points.”
“He says he wasn’t 100 percent sure. Obviously we can argue then that he shouldn’t have given the goal if he wasn’t sure but I think he argued it the other way that if he wasn’t sure then he had to give the goal.
“That’s the explanation he gave us, obviously not many referees admit they’re wrong so it’s good but it doesn’t make it any better.”
— Hull City (@HullCity) February 11, 2017
Hull coach Marco Silva was less diplomatic than Robertson, saying: “Of course I am not happy and I think we didn’t deserve this result.”
“Some of the decisions, the important decisions are not good for us today. About the game, Arsenal started well, started better than our team. But the story is that they scored with an illegal goal,” he added.
Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger did not see the incident clearly, but was sympathetic.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” said Wenger. “I am responsible for many things but not for the referee’s decisions so I feel sorry for Hull but I feel that we had to cope recently with some decisions and you did not ask me these questions.
“So I am sorry. I want the right decisions to be made.”