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Martinez cries red as Ireland sweat over McCarthy

Everton boss Roberto Martinez claimed Sunderland should have had two men sent off after a hard-fought draw on Wearside.

Midfielder Jordi Gomez, who played under Martinez at Wigan, and striker Connor Wickham were perhaps both fortunate not to see red as referee Lee Mason adopted a lenient approach during a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Gomez, who had earlier been booked for a foul which left Gareth Barry with a suspected broken leg, escaped further punishment after going down easily on the edge of the box under Phil Jagielka's challenge, while Wickham received no additional sanction after tripping Séamus Coleman for a match-saving penalty.

Asked if Wickham should have gone, Martinez said: "Yes. I think it's a clear decision. There's no intention whatsoever, it's just a striker trying to win the ball when he's late in the box, he's the wrong side.

"Séamus makes a fantastic run - it was great penetrating play - and once you give the penalty away, it's a red card.

Opposite number Gus Poyet said: "The penalty was given and I think from the position of the referee, it was an easy decision to make. When you don't know for real if it's that clear, sometimes referees go 50-50, 'I'll give you the penalty, but I won't send off the player'. For me, it's black or white: penalty, red or nothing

Sunderland got their noses in front with 67 minutes gone when midfielder Sebastian Larsson curled a fine free-kick over the defensive wall and beyond the outstretched arm of keeper Tim Howard.

However, the lead lasted just nine minutes as Baines levelled from the penalty spot following Wickham's challenge on Coleman.

Wes Brown might have won it for the Black Cats deep into injury time but his header was cleared off the line by the vigilant James McCarthy, who remained on the field despite complaining of tightness in his hamstring which will be assessed today as he prepares to join up with the Republic of Ireland squad.

However by that point, team-mate Barry was in hospital for X-rays on his tibia with Martinez keeping his fingers crossed.


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