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Sport

West Brom's Bilic unhappy with team's 'collapse' at Palace

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - December 6, 2020 West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic gives an interview after the match Pool via REUTERS/Mike Egerton

(Reuters) - West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic said he had no complaints about the red card shown to Matheus Pereira in Sunday’s 5-1 Premier League loss to Crystal Palace but was unhappy with the way his side capitulated after going down to 10 men.

The 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder was dismissed for kicking out at Palace full back Patrick van Aanholt after a tussle, following the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) when the score was tied at 1-1.

Pereira’s dismissal turned the tide in Palace’s favour, with Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke going on to net twice each to seal a resounding victory.

“It wasn’t a kick, but he gave the referee and VAR the option and they took it straight away of course. I can’t have any complaints,” Bilic told Sky Sports.

“It wasn’t a big red card but it was a reaction which gave the option to the referees. The problem for me is that he is out for about three games and he was playing good until then.”

“Down to 10, it psychologically affected us. We collapsed after they scored the third. You can find excuses, we played against a talented side, but I am not happy with our collapse. You can’t drop your shoulders and stop believing.”

The defeat means West Brom remain second-bottom with six points from 11 games, although only one point adrift of the safety zone. They travel to 13th-placed Newcastle United next weekend.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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