Curtis: Key decisions cost us
13th January 2016
Alan Curtis felt poor refereeing decisions cost the Swans dearly as his side suffered a 4-2 defeat to Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium.
Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick as the Swans, who were reduced to ten men in the first half, suffered a disappointing evening under the floodlights in South Wales.
After Defoe had opened the scoring early on despite replays suggesting he was offside, Curtis' side levelled the scores through a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty on 21 minutes before Kyle Naughton was harshly dismissed for a challenge on Yann M'Vila.
Despite their one-man disadvantage, Andre Ayew fired the Swans into the lead with a sublime solo effort and finish before half-time.
But Sunderland battled back in the second half as a deflected Patrick van Aanholt effort made it 2-2, before Defoe slotted home despite appearing to again be in an offside position.
The England striker then completed his hat-trick after tapping home from two yards out to inflict a painful defeat on the Swans.
And Curtis believes the key decisions in the match played a big part in his side's loss.
"I'm disappointed, obviously," said Curtis. "The big talking point is the refereeing decisions.
"Even though we benefited from the penalty decision, unfortunately, the referee got all the major decisions wrong tonight - and I don't like to criticise the referee.
"Sometimes decisions can take the game away from you. When the referee makes a huge decision to send a player off, we are forced to play for the next hour with ten men, which against 11 is very difficult. Kyle (Naughton) won the ball clearly and we will try and appeal tomorrow morning.
"Their first goal was offside, their second is a huge deflection and their third goal is offside too and then you have red card on top of that - sometimes things don't go for you.
"I wouldn't say it's cost the game, because you don't know how the game is going to pan out, but it's certainly had a baring on the game. When you go down to ten men with an hour to play, it's always going to be difficult, especially when you're up against a side with Jermain Defoe up front."
He added: "I thought up until the second half, once we scored, that we were in the ascendancy. We looked like we were beginning to control the game.
"Even with ten men, we showed that we could play, but if anything, we needed a huge stroke of luck.
"If we keep working hard and allied with the players' ability, hopefully we can turn things around."
Meanwhile, Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce was delighted with his side's win, which takes the third-bottom Black Cats to within a point of the Swans.
"It panned out pretty unusual to say the least, but the most important thing is the victory," he said. "We allowed Swansea the lead, even with ten men, but we changed our tactics at half-time, went with a high press and forced Swansea into making mistakes.
"Thankfully, the little man up front then went and won the game for us."