Neil Warnock was left fuming about referee Tony Harrington’s decision not to send off Jacob Sorensen as Norwich ended Middlesbrough’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.
Teemu Pukki was introduced as a half-time substitute and he grabbed his fifth goal of the season from the penalty spot with 18 minutes to go to lift the Canaries top of the Sky Bet Championship.
The Finn showed Marcus Tavernier exactly how it should be done by scoring his own effort from 12 yards, having watched the Middlesbrough midfielder slip and double touch the ball early in the second half.
But with Boro looking for an equaliser, Warnock felt Sorensen should have been sent off for a second caution when he bodychecked league debutant Sam Folarin with five minutes of normal time remaining.
“That is how it goes, if you slip (like Tavernier did),” said Warnock. “We have had a few lads slip today. We will have to blame the groundsman. It was a game of two penalties.
“You need a bit of luck. When Sam goes past that kid on the far side with 10 (minutes) to go, and he doesn’t send him off for a second booking, it was worse than the first. He didn’t even book him.
“And for then for him to say to me after the game he didn’t think Sam was going to catch the ball, and the ball was only going to go 10 yards maximum when you look at it back, 15 at most, and Sam will be through.
“Why is he telling me that, because he knows he is completely wrong? The officials all know he should have got sent off.
“Why haven’t we got officials that know what they are doing? It is a disgrace. Why is he saying that? Is he telling a lie? Or did he actually think that? I will have to write down and ask.
“Maybe I should ask the referee’s chief. It will come back ‘no, he should have sent him off’. What good is that to me? And I felt he had a decent game today, so how do I mark him?
“That’s the best I have seen him play, I have had some nightmares with him. That’s as good as I have seen him referee and he got it completely wrong there.”
However, Warnock’s opposite number Daniel Farke was not as convinced.
While denying that Sorensen should have been dismissed, the Canaries boss described his satisfaction at extending the run to eight games unbeaten.
Farke said: “Everyone is allowed a view.
“Jacob is one of the fairest players on the planet. He was booked for a yellow in the first half, probably for his first foul. His second foul was late in the game.
“It wasn’t a tactical foul. I don’t think it was a red card. Neil’s experience, he is allowed to ask for whatever he wants. It was not a key scene of the game.
“Even if we had gone down to 10 men I am pretty sure we would have won the game. I don’t think it was yellow or red card.
“It feels like a massive win for us. To stay unbeaten after this tough run is good for the mood, confidence, and for the table.
“Our position after 12 games, we are not addicted to it. What is important is where you after 46 games. I am happy with the points we have, that is the most important topic.”