Ramires dive: Referee Andre Marriner faces being dropped after awarding injury time penalty to Chelsea in draw with West Brom

Steve Clarke, the West Bromwich manager, was understanding of referee Andre Marriner’s error

Steve Clarke smiled wryly. “You’re going back a long way there,” the West Bromwich Albion manager said. He had been reminded of the night in February 1997 when Erland Johnsen won a penalty for Chelsea in the dying minutes of extra time in an FA Cup fifth-round replay with an embarrassing dive into the body of Leicester City’s Spencer Prior. Clarke was playing that night, for Chelsea. “We got that one and we went on to win the Cup,” he recalled.

It was a reminder, in the wake of Albion’s fury at the last-minute penalty awarded against them on Saturday when Ramires dived in the box, that such incidents have been happening for a long time. Once again, the big club playing at home got the decision; this time Clarke was on the wrong end of it.

Though Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, said, in public at least, he had “no doubt” it was a penalty, Andre Marriner may be dropped from the referees’ list for a week for falling for Ramires’ fall. With the incident coming a week after Marriner dismissed two Sunderland players, but not Hull’s Robbie Brady for a bad foul, he may be in need of a rest. Mourinho added: “I’m sorry to say the referee made loads of mistakes today – and all of them against us.”

Clarke, who had more reason to be vituperative, was more conciliatory. “We had three points and they were taken away quite cruelly; I’m angry, frustrated, sad for my team. But referees are human. These things happen in football. I just hope they even up over the season.”

Marriner’s was not the only howler. Liam Ridgewell was badly at fault for Samuel Eto’o’s opener and Petr Cech blundered when Albion went ahead through Stéphane Sessègnon. In addition both Chris Brunt and Goran Popov could have put the game beyond Chelsea in the final minutes, Brunt by taking advantage of a two-on-one break, Popov by taking the ball into the corner instead of shooting. “It is easy to criticise and be hard on players when they make decisions; it is all about making decisions on the pitch,” said Clarke.

Ramires will escape punishment for simulation, but his acting increases the clamour for retrospective action to be taken against divers. Ironically, Mourinho had himself said on the eve of the match: “If, because of diving, a football result directly is affected, I think the player should be punished.” He then added: “I hate it, but I don’t need to speak to my players because they don’t dive.”

The controversy distracted attention from Albion’s fine performance, Chelsea’s patchy one, and a worrying afternoon for Roy Hodgson. The England manager was at St Mary’s, where he enjoyed watching Southampton’s England men prospering, but when he gets the report from Stamford Bridge he may frown.

Gary Cahill had an uncomfortable afternoon. Beaten in the air by Shane Long when the striker signalled Albion’s second-half revival by hitting the post, Cahill then lost Gareth McAuley at a corner, and after the Irishman’s header was parried Long levelled. England’s centre-half was left on the deck by, of all people, Ridgewell, before the latter squared for Sessègnon to put Albion ahead.

Another Hodgson regular, Frank Lampard, again had one of those increasingly frequent afternoons when he looks off the pace. But at least he was playing. Ashley Cole was left on the bench with an uncompromising message from Mourinho. The Chelsea manager confirmed Cole had been dropped in response to his performance at Newcastle and Cesar Azpilicueta, usually a right-back, was at left-back.

“Of course it is not Azpilicueta’s best position,” said Mourinho, “but he was fantastic against Schalke and very good again today. Ashley is a top professional, he has to work hard to fight hard because the place is his place.” Ryan Bertrand, meanwhile, is reduced, 18 months after starting in the Champions League final, to occasional outings in the Capital One Cup. At 24 a once-promising career appears to have stalled. He has suffered a knock recently, but if Azpilicueta is keeping out Cole he’s likely to be selected ahead of Bertrand too.

Another England candidate who may struggle to win his place back is goalkeeper Ben Foster. Hodgson spoke confidently of him being back in the Albion side and having “played 20-odd games” by the time the World Cup squad is picked, but such is Boaz Myhill’s form that is by no means a given.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas