Boxing Day got off to a pleasant enough start for Stoke. They went up 1-0 in the 29th minute at Newcastle, but then the match took a sharp turn for the horrible just before halftime. Stoke had two players sent off in a matter of three minutes, allowing Newcastle to make a comeback and win 5-1.
Displeased with referee Martin Atkinson's influence on the game, Stoke manager Mark Hughes got himself sent off as well and decided to go out with a flourish by tossing his coat into the air. A move that the bookies probably figured Arsene Wenger would be the first to do after one too many struggles with his zipper.
Said Hughes after the match (via The Mirror):
"It went wrong when the referee got involved. I thought the initial sending off was very, very harsh. The second you would argue is a correct decision - denying a goal scoring opportunity - we would argue against that.
"There were a lot of decisions that left a lot to be desired to be honest. We totally controlled the game up to the first sending off in my view. Unfortunately referees can make decisions that can change the course of a game."
Of course, a big fluffy coat isn't exactly the best thing to throw in order to convey anger. As you can see in the photos, it just looks like a whimsical cousin of the magic carpet.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Mark Hughes
- Martin Atkinson