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'That is an assault' - Graeme Souness makes big claim after Sheffield United defeat at Fulham

Graeme Souness says that Sheffield United should definitely have been given a penalty at Fulham.

The Blades’ slim hopes of avoiding relegation took another massive hit at Craven Cottage following a 1-0 defeat.

But in the 88th-minute the visitors had a big claim for a spot-kick when Jayden Bogle was brought down by goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

United manager Chris Wilder told Sky Sports afterwards:

“I thought it was a reckless challenge. It’s a penalty.

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“Am I clutching, are we looking for little bits? Yeah, of course we are because as a football club, that’s the fine margins.”

The official line from referee Martin Atkinson is that it is a 50/50 ball and there is some contact to be expected.

However, it looks as if Areola gets little to no touch on the ball and simply wipes out Bogle in the box.

What Graeme Souness thought about the decision

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Souness wasn’t pulling any punches with his thoughts about the decision.

Speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports, he said: “It’s not just a penalty, it’s a sending off.

“They make it up as they go along referees, they really do. What planet are they on?

“The problem we have with referees, they’re just not very good.

“That is an assault. That is a foul all day long, it’s a penalty all day long and for me, it’s a sending off.”

While Wilder and his team can feel aggrieved by the decision, he certainly is “clutching”.

It was another poor performance by the South Yorkshire side, who have now lost 20 of their 25 Premier League matches this season.

The gap between themselves and safety remains 14 points ahead of 17th-placed Newcastle United travelling to Manchester United later today.

Even the most optimistic Blades fans must surely accept their team will be back playing in the Championship next term.

The fact they are returning to the division with a whimper is the most disappointing thing about it.

Wilder can claim his side are unlucky – but in truth, they’re simply not good enough.

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