West Brom 2 Swansea City 1
MICHAEL Laudrup reckons blundering referees should be put "in the freezer" after Swansea City were undone by a whistle at West Bromwich Albion.
Officials everywhere should not panic, for Laudrup is not claiming they ought to be hung up like meat carcasses or bagged with the peas.
But what the Swansea manager is suggesting is that when referees and or their assistants have a bad day, they should be sanctioned.
Laudrup was not in a bright mood as he digested defeat at the Hawthorns.
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In fact he was angry as he has been at any point since agreeing to become Swansea boss.
He did not sign up for this kind of thing, he might have thought to himself, when he put pen to paper on a new contract at the Liberty Stadium on Friday.
In the directors' box, meantime, Huw Jenkins had seen his 50th birthday ruined.
Jenkins does not go on Twitter, but Swansea's vice-chairman does.
And Leigh Dineen offered his verdict on the goal that never was not long after Roland Lamah swept home what should have been a late equaliser.
Lamah's close-range strike was ruled out because of one of the worst offside decisions in the Premier League this season.
"Joke linesman. Pathetic. Off WBA player," Dineen tweeted.
Laudrup's verdict was slightly more measured, though there was no mistaking his fury.
The Dane got angry with his players for their miserable performance at Liverpool last month.
And he was not happy with referee Mike Dean in December when he failed to stop play with Michu flat out on the turf at Spurs.
But his display of disgruntlement at the Hawthorns on Saturday was as passionate as anything witnessed during his nine months at the Swansea helm.
Laudrup's argument was that while penalty decisions, fouls and cards can sometimes be debatable, there was simply no argument about the error which denied Swansea a point here.
"This is in the book of football rules," he exclaimed.
The decision to chalk off what would have been Roland Lamah's first goal in English football was not replayed and scrutinised as much as it would have been had Wayne Rooney or Carlos Tevez been involved.
So just in case anyone is unaware, Lamah was a couple of yards onside when he initially took possession and rounded Albion left-back Liam Ridgwell.
He then attempted to play the ball across the face of goal, but Baggies defender Gareth McAuley intervened.
When his attempted clearance hit keeper Ben Foster, the ball landed back at the feet of Lamah, who stroked it into the empty net and ran off to celebrate with almost 1,500 travelling fans.
Only then did the Belgian realise that assistant referee Lee Betts had raised his flag.
And worse still, referee Lee Mason had not noticed his assistant's glaring error and had therefore ruled out the goal.
"It's a huge mistake," said Laudrup. "You can't even say there are a lot of players in there so the view was very bad for the officials.
"Everyone in the stadium knows that you can't give offside when the ball comes off not one but two opposition players."
It does not happen often, but match officials are occasionally stood down from Premier League duty after high-profile mistakes.
Laudrup reckons that should be the case here, although it will not help Swansea's bid to finish in the top eight if Mason and Betts spend the next fortnight or so operating in the Championship.
"In Spain when a referee makes a very big mistake, he goes into what they call the freezer, meaning they go out (of action) for some weeks," Laudrup added.
"I think in life, and in football as well, there are always consequences when you make mistakes.
"But what does that do for me?
"Do I benefit from the linesman not being involved in the next few games?
"That will not help me or my team get this point back."
You know you have been on the wrong end of a rough refereeing call when the opposition camp admit as much.
Foster, the man who had the last touch before Lamah finished, admitted he could not understand why the goal had been chalked off.
And West Brom boss Steve Clarke later readily accepted that his team had "got a lucky break" as they held on for three points.
Clarke suggested Albion had though been worthy winners on the balance of play, whereas Laudrup reckoned the draw would have been right.
The Dane's take was understandable because, much like the Newcastle game seven days earlier, Swansea controlled the first half and then found themselves under pressure in the second.
Amid much talk about what will drive Swansea on between now and the end of the season, Laudrup can be well pleased with the determination and desire his players have shown in the last couple of weeks.
And given that Swansea were fortunate to overcome Newcastle when that game ought to have ended even, three points from the last two games is better than the two Laudrup's men have probably deserved.
But it does not matter that the points no longer matter that much.
Laudrup is desperate to ensure his team maintain their standards until the end of the season, and there was deep disappointment over the manner in which they were denied something this weekend.
"It's not life and death for us this game," Laudrup conceded.
"But it is just frustrating that things like this happen.
"No-one has to apologise to me — but the referee should apologise to the player.
"It would have been Roland's first goal for Swansea and it would have been a very important one for him."
The suggestion emerging from the Swansea camp later in the piece was that Lancashire referee Mason did indeed say sorry after reviewing footage of the disallowed goal, that he lamented what happened with Lamah.
There were regrets for Swansea, too, as West Brom opened up a three-point gap in the race to be crowned best of the non-giants in the Premier League.
Perhaps the Lamah decision would not have mattered had Swansea made more of their first-half control, but Michu missed one glorious chance and sent a tricky volley into the crowd.
The visitors got the lead they deserved through Luke Moore, who met Jonathan de Guzman's corner with a fine back-header to score for the second week in a row for the first time since he was on loan at Derby back in November 2010.
But the lead did not last long, Romelu Lukaku finishing expertly at the near post after Foster launched the ball long and Swansea failed to cope.
Now the Baggies had momentum, and Swansea were fortunate not to fall behind before they did.
Michel Vorm saved Albion's biggest chance, the Dutchman springing to his right to block Lukaku's penalty after Wayne Routledge had tripped James Morrison.
The winner was cruel, as Angel Rangel nodded Gareth McAuley's header off the line only to see the ball hit de Guzman and rebound back into the net.
Albion got the bounce of the ball there, just as Swansea did when substitute Lamah pounced three minutes from time.
The difference was that the de Guzman own goal was not ruled out for no reason.