Ian Foster says Plymouth denied ‘clear penalty’ during defeat at Norwich

By Sports Desk March 29, 2024

Plymouth manager Ian Foster was furious with referee James Linington after his side lost 2-1 at Norwich to stay deep in the Sky Bet Championship relegation scrap.

The high-flying Canaries scored two second-half goals to take the points, after being stunned by Morgan Whittaker’s 10th-minute opener, his 20th of the season.

The second-half comeback brought Linington’s decision not to award a penalty to Plymouth when Alfie Devine went down under a challenge from keeper Angus Gunn under the spotlight, while the official’s insistence that Lewis Gibson went off before the corner that led to the winner was also a bone of contention.

“All we ask is that the officials make the right calls and that wasn’t the case today,” said Foster.

“I thought the referee got lots of decisions wrong and two of them were absolutely key decisions in the game.

“For me it was a clear penalty. Their keeper slid in, didn’t get the ball and took Alfie out – but he gave a yellow card to Alfie.

“For the corner there was a collision between two of our players and immediately the referee calls the physio on – he doesn’t ask if our player needed treatment, which he didn’t, he was fine.

“We have to accept responsibility for not defending set-plays properly – but it was still frustrating.

“I think the loyal fans who travelled all this way to follow their team would have been proud of the performance – I know I am.

“We have spoken about being more ruthless at the key moments in both boxes but overall there were a lot of positives to take from that.”

The match was settled by two goals inside seven minutes, both from right-wing corners.

The first was a set routine, with substitute Christian Fassnacht playing the ball low into the path of the deep lying Josh Sargent, who had the space he needed to sweep home his 14th goal of the season.

Regular taker Gabriel Sara then sent in a more conventional corner to the near past where Sam McCallum headed it on and a deflection off Ashley Phillips took the ball into far corner of the net.

It was a deserved win for Norwich, but relegation-threatened Plymouth gave the hosts a scare by taking the lead after just 10 minutes when Whittaker nodded home Matthew Sorinola’s cross to make it 20 for the season.

“It was a big win for us, especially after going behind so early,” said Norwich head coach David Wagner.

“In the first half I thought we played really well, we didn’t let the goal affect us and created lots of chances without being able to take them.

“In the second half we were not so good and sometimes over the course of the season you have to rely on your set-pieces, which we work on very hard.

“Overall it was probably not at the level we have shown over the past few games but once again the players have put in a shift, shown their togetherness to get the result we wanted.”

Related items

  • Nagelsmann urges Germany to beat pressure of being Euro 2024 hosts Nagelsmann urges Germany to beat pressure of being Euro 2024 hosts

    Julian Nagelsmann is confident his side can beat the pressure of being the host nation as they prepare to kick off the tournament against Scotland on Friday.

    The 36-year-old is taking charge of his first major tournament with Germany after taking over from Hansi Flick in September and has lost just one of his eight games since taking over.

    Germany have struggled in recent major tournaments, getting knocked out of Euro 2020 in the round of 16 before crashing out of the 2022 World Cup in the group stages.

    However, Die Mannschaft are aiming to end that run, chasing a fourth European title and their first since 1996, with Nagelsmann confident his team can channel their nervous energy into positive performances.

    "I think we're a bit nervous, but it's an important point, we have to have a certain nervousness," he said. "There was such a buzz [in the camp], a bit like in school. It was really loud: 'Can everyone please calm down a bit!'.

    "I look in our players' eyes and see the belief and will to win. I want us to believe in ourselves: we have great players, good togetherness, home advantage, we've had great training sessions and a good mentality.

    "We have everything: we just have to show it tomorrow, and that's why belief is very important.

    "We can beat pressure, and we can beat Scotland as well."

    Scotland arrive as heavy outsiders and are making just their fourth appearance at the Euros compared to Germany's record 14.

    The Tartan Army qualified second in their group after a strong opening to their campaign, and Nagelsmann praised their performances under Steve Clark.

    "They don't have world stars, but that makes them very dangerous," he added. "They work very hard and have a classic mentality, but it's not a kick and rush team. They can do that, but they can play football.

    "We will have more pressure on us than Scotland, and they will want to capitalise on that."

  • Orlando City v Los Angeles FC: Pareja seeking injection of confidence Orlando City v Los Angeles FC: Pareja seeking injection of confidence

    Oscar Pareja believes it is important for Orlando City to rediscover their self-confidence ahead of Saturday's clash with in-form Los Angeles FC at Inter&Co Stadium.

    The international break means Orlando have been out of action since a 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls on June 2, their third straight game without a victory.

    While they sit a lowly 11th in the Eastern Conference standings with 17 points, LAFC are second in the West with 30 points after winning five in a row in MLS play.

    Asked about the value of having time off to reflect on their poor run, Pareja said: "It's important, because with the work we do, the intensity of how we do things is important.

    "We are optimistic after having a refresh when we needed it."

    On the challenge of facing LAFC, the Orlando coach added: "Many teams have challenges with players being away. We are professionals, we expect a team that is playing well.

    "But at the same time, it's a great opportunity for us to play well and raise our confidence, to get the points we need right now." 

    In all competitions, LAFC have won their last six matches without conceding, becoming the first team from MLS to ever accomplish that feat.

    Head coach Steve Cherundolo believes that achievement is the result of a team effort, saying: "I think the team is playing a mature, professional, complete 90 minutes.

    "Some teams have better defensive solutions against us so we don't have quite as many chances, but in every game we are creating chances and we are not giving up many chances.

    "Our collective defending is very good. You're seeing it all come together."


    Orlando City – Nicolas Lodeiro 

    Lodeiro has been involved in nine goals in MLS play against Los Angeles (five goals, four assists, including playoffs). 

    Only Cristian Espinoza (15) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11) have been involved in more versus them.

    Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga 

    Bouanga scored LAFC's goal in their 1-0 win over FC Dallas last time out on June 1. 

    The goal was Bouanga's 48th in all competitions since the start of last season, 16 more than any other MLS player in that time.


    LAFC are unbeaten in four all-time meetings with Orlando (two wins, two draws), though the Lions did eliminate them on penalties from the quarter-finals of MLS is Back in 2020.

    Orlando are winless in their last five home matches, drawing two and losing three while failing to net in each of their last three – they had only previously gone three home matches without netting in their second, third and fourth home MLS games back in 2015.

    LAFC, meanwhile, have won seven successive matches in all competitions, the last six of them to nil. They will fancy their chances of victory, even without home advantage.


    Orlando City – 37.7%

    Los Angeles FC – 35.9%  

    Draw – 26.4%

  • Ito becomes first signing for Kompany at Bayern Ito becomes first signing for Kompany at Bayern

    Bayern Munich have announced the signing of Hiroki Ito from Stuttgart.

    The defender becomes the first signing under new head coach Vincent Kompany, signing a four-year contract to keep him at the club until 2028.

    Ito joined Stuttgart in 2021, on an initial loan from Japanese side Jubilo Iwata, before making the move permanent the following year.

    He made 97 appearances for Stuttgart in all competitions, including 29 in 2023-24, as he helped the club to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga and Champions League qualification.

    "It's a great honour for me to be able to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world," Ito told the club website.

    "Bayern is also a big name in Japan. I always gave my all for Stuttgart and am grateful to the club. Now I'm looking forward to the challenge in Munich and I want to play my part in FC Bayern winning lots of trophies.

    "It was time to take a new step, and for me, Bayern is the perfect club to do so."

    Bayern finished below Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last season in third, ending their run of 11 consecutive league titles, while falling at the semi-final hurdle in the Champions League.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.