Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka felt the outcome of his side’s match at Leeds United could have been very different if the visitors had not had a first-half goal disallowed.
United debutant Billy Sharp grabbed the headlines with his 88th-minute winner but Karanka could not understand why Albert Adomah’s goal from an overhead kick in the first half was disallowed.
But referee Stuart Atwell saw something in the moment when the winger went for the ball close to Stephen Warnock’s head.
Adomah ran away to celebrate and the goal appeared to have stood until eventually it was ruled out.
“I can’t understand why the goal is not on the scoreboard,” manager Aitor Karanka said. “I think it was a good height (Admoah’s foot) if you see the replay.
“The referee was the person who saw the foot, but the replay does not show this decision in the first second he was waiting four, five, six seconds as we were running to the middle of the pitch.
“I didn’t see the incident, but if you have a foul you have it on one second not six.”
Karanka, whose side earned plaudits in the first week of the season with convincing wins over Birmingham and Oldham, felt his players paid the price for getting dragged into a war by Leeds.
“We played in their style,” he added. “We didn’t keep the ball. We tried to do it by putting Adam Clayton on the pitch but we didn’t get to play in our style.”
Meanwhile, United’s opponents at Elland Road tomorrow, Brighton and Hove Albion have completed the signing of versatile Dutch midfielder Danny Holla on a three-year contract, until June 2017.