Sam Allardyce said Sunderland should “definitely, 100 per cent” have been awarded a penalty in their 0-0 draw against Arsenal on Sunday.
Sunderland climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with the point but will feel they could have taken all three, with Patrick van Aanholt striking the woodwork with a free-kick and Petr Cech making several good saves in the Arsenal goal.
The game could have turned on two penalty appeals, both of which were turned down by referee Mike Dean after Per Mertesacker blocked Jermain Defoe’s shot with his arms before Alex Iwobi’s effort ricocheted into DeAndre Yedlin’s arm.
Arsene Wenger thought Dean got both decisions right, but Allardyce was adamant his team should have been awarded a spot-kick.
He said: “It was blatantly obvious for me. He sticks his arms out, turns his back – when you are trying to block a shot, you are not supposed to turn your back. He’s not looking at the ball, sticks his arms out, stops a certain goal.
“Yes, for me definitely, 100 per cent a penalty.”
Allardyce, however, was happy enough with a point which leaves the club’s fate in their own hands.
He said: “Our destiny is in our own hands now for the first time in many months with four games to go, so we have got to take full control of that starting at Stoke next week.
“When we finish at Stoke, we have got to make sure we are out of the bottom three.”
Allardyce was particularly pleased with another clean sheet, Sunderland’s third in four games.
Asked what was behind that improved run, he said with a smile: “My brilliant coaching,” before adding: “You could say before that it was crap, though.”