Sunderland v Everton reaction

The official awarded a penalty after Leon Osman went to ground in

the box six minutes into the second half, although television

replays showed there had been no contact with any Black Cats

player. Leighton Baines scored from the spot to cancel out Jack

Colback’s first-half opener, but O’Neill was quick to seek out Webb

after the final whistle. He said: “It’s not a great decision by an

otherwise top referee. “I did speak to Howard. He hadn’t seen it

back – I obviously have had the advantage of seeing the incident

back. “Naturally, he must have thought there was contact. Clearly,

there wasn’t and it’s obviously disappointing.” Everton counterpart

David Moyes was in complete agreement with O’Neill, although he

admitted he initially thought it was a penalty. He said: “I did,

yes, but I’ve had the chance to see it again. I don’t think it’s a

penalty kick – well, it’s not a penalty kick. “It’s a terrible

decision by the referee. It wasn’t a penalty kick and Martin should

feel hard done by.” However, O’Neill was conciliatory as he

reflected upon a missed opportunity for a third win in the first

four games on his reign on Wearside. Asked if he had missed

referees during his 16 months out of the game, he said with a

smile: “I think I probably did, you know, I think I probably did.

“I have to preface everything – I even said this to Howard – by

saying the job they do is the most difficult in the business. “He

was seven or eight yards away, he only get one look at it. It’s a

difficult task, but I think I did miss them.” Having started in

uncertain fashion as Everton squandered a series of fine chances to

open the scoring, Sunderland took the lead with 26 minutes gone as

substitute Colback made a swift impact. The midfielder, who had

replaced injured defender Titus Bramble five minutes earlier, was

perfectly positioned to benefit from Stephane Sessegnon’s jinking

run and saw his shot deflected past keeper Tim Howard for his first

senior goal for the club. However, Everton, who have not lost on

Wearside for a decade and have now gone 15 games against the Black

Cats without defeat, extended their run with 51 minutes gone. Osman

perhaps should not have been allowed to make his way into the

penalty area unchallenged, but as Wes Brown and Lee Cattermole

closed, he went to ground and Webb, having taken his time, pointed

to the spot. Television replays suggested the midfielder had simply

kicked the ground, but Baines took no notice of the fury around him

to smash the ball high to Keiren Westwood’s left and claim a point.

Moyes was happy enough with a point having feared the chances which

went begging early in the game might prove costly. He said: “We

played really well for 25, 30 minutes and we had two great chances

– Tim Cahill was through and Louis Saha had a header at the back

post. “We played really well and were the better team, but we

couldn’t capitalise to score our goals and Sunderland grew into the

game. “It ended up as an own goal – it was going into the goalie’s

arms, the shot, but took a deflection and went in.”