Sable: Referee diddled us

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St Etienne captain Julien Sable has slammed the refereeing decisions in Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Marseille.

Mickael Pagis scored two goals in three minutes to give Marseille three valuable points, but Sable believes that the referee was to blame, after a series of key decisions went against Las Verts.

"Marseille played with one more player than us, the referee," Sable fumed.

"I don't mince my words. He diddled us all match long. It's a disgrace to have such behaviour.

"As players we don't have a lot of rights, but when people don't show us respect, it is difficult to keep cool."

Coach Elie Baup was calmer about the refereeing decisions, but rued the knee injury picked up by highly rated defender Loic Perrin, and the farcical situation which followed, as it took several minutes to substitute him.

Baup had wanted to bring Fousseni Diawara on in Perrin's place, but nothing could be done for several minutes as the St Etienne staff struggled to find a shirt for Diawara. Down to ten men, they conceded the only two goals of the match.

Perrin, meanwhile, looks set to be sidelined for the rest of the season with suspected ligament damage.

"There were several things that caused the match to go as it did," he explained.

"Everything happened in four minutes. A penalty was not given for us, our player seriously injured his knee, and they scored.

"The substitution took too long, and we will have to look at that. We have to know that there are some details that make the difference at the highest level."