Wrong man sent off in City win
Manchester City returned to their winning ways in the Premier League yesterday with a 3-0 home victory over West Bromwich Albion but the game was marred after the visitors had the wrong player sent off after only two minutes.
City striker Wilfried Bony was brought down when through on goal by Craig Dawson and the referee, Neil Swarbrick, blew for a foul but incorrectly dismissed Gareth McAuley for the offence.
Bony, Fernando and David Silva netted the goals for City, who produced a dominant performance with an extra man for almost the entire match. Manuel Pellegrini's side, which exited the Champions League midweek at the hands of Barcelona and lost their previous Premier League match to struggling Burnley, are now three points behind league leaders Chelsea, who have two games in hand and play Hull today.
THIRD MAJOR BLUNDER
Swarbrick's error is the third major blunder by a referee in the Premier League in a year.
Last month, Roger East mistakenly sent off Wes Brown instead of his Sunderland teammate, John O'Shea, for bringing down Radamel Falcao of Manchester United in the penalty area.
And in March 2014, Andre Marriner showed Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal a red card for handling on the goal line against Chelsea, when it was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who committed the foul.
The Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, the organisation responsible for refereeing appointments, confirmed that Swarbrick had apologised for his mistake in a statement after the match.
Elsewhere, two first-half strikes from Olivier Giroud handed Arsenal a hard fought 2-1 win at Newcastle. Arsene Wenger's side held off a spirited second-half display from Newcastle, who pulled a goal back in the 48th minute through Moussa Sissoko.
Arsenal's victory keeps them a point behind second-place City and four behind Chelsea.
Yesterday's results: Aston Villa 0 Swansea 1, Manchester City 2 West Brom 0, Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2, Southampton 2 Burnley 0, Stoke 1 Crystal Palace 2, Tottenham 4 Leicester 3, West Ham 1 Sunderland 0.