Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew admits Cheikhou Kouyate red card was harsh
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 02/04/16 6:36pm
Crystal Place manager Alan Pardew has admitted the red card issued by Mark Clattenburg to West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate was "harsh".
The controversial moment came midway through the second half of the sides' 2-2 draw as Kouyate got a straight red for a challenge on Dwight Gayle.
It came at a time when West Ham were leading 2-1 and appeared comfortable but Palace capitalised on their man advantage and Gayle equalised shortly afterwards.
Pardew accepted his side received a bit of luck with the decision but was proud of the spirit they showed to battle back from a goal down.
"The red card I thought was harsh really," Pardew admitted. "I just watched it back. I would have been disappointed to have that issued to one of my players.
"In the same fixture at the start of the season we had Gayley sent off and we thought that was harsh so it is funny how things even out.
"When you are 2-1 down at West Ham with the form they are in, you will take 2-2 all day. We really did play well in the second half.
"We forced the game more in the first 20 minutes. We pushed and pushed and had chances.
"I am delighted for the team because I thought they showed today their heart is still very much in it. We have got ourselves in a bit of trouble but this is a great result."
The standout moment in the game was yet another stunning free-kick from French star Dimitri Payet just before the break to put West Ham 2-1 ahead.
Pardew said he warned his team this week about the dangers of conceding free-kicks near the box with Payet on the pitch.
"Payet is in the form of his life," Pardew said. "Obviously he smashed one right in the top corner. I don't think the keeper could have saved it even though it was the goalie's side.
"It dipped right at the end and he has done that before. We talked about free-kicks with him but it is impossible."