Bournemouth left to rue penalty decision after stalemate with Brentford

Gary O’Neil lamented two “really tough calls” as Bournemouth were twice denied penalties and had to settle for a point.

Bournemouth’s interim manager revealed he sought answers from the referee, Thomas Bramall, after full time, as to why the hosts were twice denied spot-kicks by an official taking charge of his second Premier League match.

Kristoffer Ajer upended Jordan Zemura in the first half only for Bramall to rule out a penalty despite being advised by VAR to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Mathias Jensen then bundled the ball against his arm with the game’s final play, but the officials rapidly dismissed the incident and Bramall blew for full time.

Bramall struggled to keep control at times and left the hosts with plenty of questions after the contest. “They were really tough calls, I don’t think either were stonewall, blatant ones, but I also think they both could be penalties,” said O’Neil.

“I went into the referee’s room after the game to ask him what he thought, what he saw. I didn’t see any footage of the last one being reviewed, which you usually do. So I asked if it definitely was, because when he blows that final whistle that adds some confusion to whether it’s going to be reviewed, is the game done, do the boys shake hands, walk off, stay on the pitch?

“So I felt he could have not blown the whistle at that moment and we could have done the check before the game’s over. But he assures me there was a check and it was taken very quickly.

“I understand as well why they took a while to review the first one. I think Ajer obviously slips and his trailing foot does make contact with the ball. It looks to me like he gets to Jordan [Zemura] before he gets the ball.

“Once they are sent to the screen they generally stick with the VAR decision, so I was hopeful that he would give the penalty. I would have liked it but I think it’s tough.

“We’ve had four VAR reviews go against us in my four games and this is the first time I go home a bit frustrated.”

Bournemouth were at least able to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to four matches, with O’Neil helping them to move past the 9-0 reverse at Liverpool and the end of the Scott Parker era.

The US investor Bill Foley’s proposed takeover of Bournemouth remains in the works too, leaving plenty of optimism in the autumn air.

Brentford were at least able to steady proceedings after their 3-0 defeat by Arsenal, with the visitors well below their best but still grinding out a point.

Chris Mepham almost gifted Brentford the dream start, passing straight to Mikkel Damsgaard. The former Sampdoria man latched on to the stray pass and moved into the area, only for his crisp strike rebuffed by Neto.

Pontus Jansson wasted a free header from a corner with a wretched connection, before Damsgaard fired the loose ball straight at Neto.

The hosts were denied the first of their penalty shouts, while Ivan Toney was booked at the close of the half for booting the ball into the crowd, summing up the general feeling heading into the break.

The second half was little better, Toney blasting a half-volley high and wide perhaps summing up an insipid encounter ended by that second penalty shout.

Thomas Frank took a different view of Bramall and his decisions. The Brentford manager said: “I’d like to praise Thomas Bramall for his job today, he’s a young referee, and every Premier League game is important.

“His character and calm head was important in a very, very stressful moment, when you’re called over to the monitor.

“It’s a decisive decision for the game and nine times out of 10 most likely it’s a pen. But he sticks to his decision and that says a lot about him. I’m not in doubt that’s not a penalty, so very well done for him.”