‘We’ve been mugged’ - Nigel Pearson on Bristol City’s defeat to Hull City and “embarrassing” penalty decision

Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson. Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson.
Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson.
Robins lose 2-1 in their first game of the 2022/23 Championship campaign but are hard done by from the referee.

After an unbeaten pre-season of course the first game of the new season was to be a defeat. It was just the circumstances by which it came that will rankle most with supporters.

Bristol City were good for the opening goal as Andi Weimann netted after 30 minutes, with the West Country outfit facing Shota Arvaladze’s team at the MKM Stadium first up and having to arrive by taxi to the ground following problems with their team bus.

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But an atrocious refereeing decision allowed the home side back into the game, as Ozan Tufan scored from the spot, on 72 minutes, following new signing Kal Naismith being adjudged to have fouled Ghanaian forward Benjamin Tetteh just inside the box.

The Hull striker had fallen slowly to the grass after minimal contact and a long time after the initial challenge, but referee Dean Whitestone still blew for it to incense the away fans and players.

And that incident was compounded when Jean Michael Seri’s 93rd minute shot was deflected into the goal to hand the home side the first three points on offer.

Following the game, manager Nigel Pearson had his say on the match and the vital incidents, on his return to his former side, and with many Bristol City supporters happy with their side’s performance that apart.

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“In the first half we played very well and we defended exceptionally well at the end as well,” explained Pearson following the game to the club channels.

“We’ve been mugged a bit today. The penalty that they had was... If you look at it back it was a bit embarrassing for the officials.

“So we’ll see what they come up with about that. And then a deflected goal for the winner is a bit cruel for the players but there are aspects of our game in the second half where we didn’t control the possession as well as we did in the first half.

“So for me it’s just an unfortunate result.

“I’m a bit annoyed about the nature of it and I don’t really want to on day one be talking about the referees too much but when they come in and talk to the players prior to the season, and talk about what they’re going to allow and what they’re not going to allow, we need to see that backed up on a Saturday, a Wednesday or a Tuesday or whatever day by the referees themselves,” said Pearson.

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There were positives too though. New midfielder Mark Sykes was singled out for praise and Kal Naismith also did well at the back and got a mention, with the manager generally happy with the Robins’ display: “we played really well and passed the ball really well”.

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