April 24, 2024

Sunderland fell 1-0 at home to Leicester City in the Championship on Tuesday night, with one refereeing decision standing out.

Sunderland returned to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday, hosting league leaders Leicester City.

Both clubs entered this game in poor form, with the Black Cats coming off four defeats and the Foxes off three.

But it was the runaway leaders who broke their losing skid, with Jamie Vardy scoring in the 13th minute to give Leicester the points.

Controversy arose at the end, when Dan Ballard seemed to be held back within the Leicester City penalty box.

Dan Ballard brought down inside Leicester City penalty area, but no penalty

Adil Aouchiche, a substitute, sent a lovely through pass to Ballard, who was unsurprisingly through on goal.

But Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury looked to put his hand on Ballard’s shoulder, causing the huge centre-back to fall inside the Leicester penalty area.

Referee Sunny Gill did not issue the penalty, much to the dismay of journalist Michael Graham, who commented on X:

 

A bitter pill for Sunderland to swallow

Dan Ballard: The central defender Sunderland can't do without - Roker Report

 

There have been a few obviously terrible officiating decisions in the Championship in the last week or two, with various teams having goals ruled out or penalties disallowed when they should have been awarded.

Without VAR, it is the nature of the Championship, and the argument is that it is the same for all teams; some will go your way, while others will not.

When things don’t go Sunderland’s way, it’s pretty bad.

Five consecutive defeats have arguably put some pressure on interim manager Mike Dodds, who was lambasted for changing the shape of the Sunderland XI last night.

Although the performance against Leicester was not bad, and there were some positives to take away, particularly Chris Rigg’s effort, it was still a defeat.

The Black Cats remain in 10th position on the table, although they are currently 10 points behind Hull City in sixth place with 12 games remaining in the season.

Sunderland’s next game is away to Southampton this weekend.

The Saints face Preston North End in the Championship on Wednesday night, and they’ll be desperate for a win to keep their automatic promotion ambitions alive after a recent slump in performance.

And they’ll undoubtedly see a game against a struggling Sunderland team as an ideal opportunity to add to their points total.

Saturday’s kick-off time is 3 p.m.

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