Premier League - Managers: Stoke 'lucky to get nil'

Eurosport - Sun, 25 Apr 22:31:00 2010

All the managerial reaction from Sunday's Premier League games, with Stoke boss Tony Pulis slating his side after they were "murdered" by Chelsea.

Tony Pulis Stoke City - 0

Chelsea 7-0 Stoke City

Carlo Ancelotti: (On Alex Ferguson's assertion that the title is Chelsea's to lose) "Yes, I agree but this is a good thing. To decide our destiny is a good thing. It's a very difficult game. We need to win again two games. We are very close to the title. We have a very difficult game against Liverpool. Liverpool are a fantastic team."

Tony Pulis: "We've just got murdered. We were lucky to get nil today, we were that poor. It's just disappointing for us. We've trained well and done all right this week, but we had five or six players well off it. That was the first time we've been beaten away in the league this year, but if you're carrying six players you'll struggle against a Third Division team."

Everton 2-1 Fulham

David Moyes: "I don't think you could deny we deserved the victory. We went for it. The goal we lost was poor and I think it put everybody down. But we never gave in and kept going. I thought it was a penalty. I think the argument is 'was it a throw in?' in the lead-up to the penalty."

Roy Hodgson: "I thought the penalty decision was unbelievably harsh. When that penalty decision goes against you, I wondered why I wasn't more upset about the one we should have had. It's a very sad way to end the game. We didn't deserve it because it was a very good performance from the team. To lose it so late in the game to a debatable penalty is a sad outcome for what was otherwise a very good occasion for us. I'm extremely depressed with the way a great result from a great performance was stolen from us in injury time."

Burnley 0-4 Liverpool

Brian Laws: "No one can explain how you feel. It is one of those feelings you get in the gut of your stomach and it is not very nice; supporters will be feeling it because it has come to an end. You can't console the players. They are as hurt as anyone else. It is the final nail in the coffin and it is a horrible feeling. But they have to reflect and say, under that horrible feeling, that they should be proud of themselves at what they have achieved because getting into the Premier League was a magnificent achievement. Over the 12 months I'm sure many people will reflect and say we didn't deserve to stay in the Premier League. The regret is not winning games but every player has gone out there and given their all. At the end of the day, if we're not good enough we're not good enough."

Rafael Benitez: "When you play against a team trying to avoid relegation you know it has to be a strong first half and they were pushing and were dangerous. But as soon as we scored the first goal, the game was open and then we had more space and time to play the ball. The second goal was the kind of goal Stevie (Gerrard) can score. It was a fantastic strike; he has quality, power and accuracy so I'm really pleased for him and it was really good for the team too. It is important when you don't have players like Fernando Torres, who will normally score, that you have players like Steve who was scoring a lot of goals before."

Aston Villa 1-0 Birmingham City

Martin O'Neill: "From the bit I've seen, Johnson has caught Gabby's legs. If he has got the ball first, it becomes a separate issue. But from the slow motion, it looks as if he wrapped his legs around Agbonlahor and it was a penalty. Referees are now saying it doesn't matter if you touch the ball first. If you are following through with intent, it is a foul. If Johnson has got a clean touch on the ball then I will change what I think. Birmingham might feel aggrieved because they played very well in the second half. Brad Friedel was magnificent. On the second-half performance, they deserved something from the game."

Alex McLeish: "It was a bad mistake by the referee. It's a shame he gets such a big decision wrong in such a big game. I am not questioning his fitness but Agbonlahor, with his pace, is difficult to keep up with. The referee was so far behind and he surmised it was a penalty. I have defended referees a lot but I can't defend that one. He got it wrong. Roger Johnson has made a name for himself with that kind of tackle. He got the ball cleanly. Tony Pulis has said he feels bigger teams get more decisions throughout the course of the season and today was evidence of that."


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