Referee Michael Oliver has put himself into the spotlight early in the match, showing a straight red card to West Brom defender Pablo Ibañez and granting Blackpool a penalty kick, which was converted, for Ibañez's challenge on D.J. Campbell inside the penalty area. Oliver determined that Ibañez denied Campbell a clear goal scoring opportunity, gave the penalty, and sent him off.
Both the penalty kick and the straight red card were controversial, with West Brom's players appearing to be in a state of disbelief when the decision were given. Replays seem to show that Campbell initiated the contact with Ibañez and that he would have had a fair bit of work to do to to create a clear goal scoring opportunity for himself had he gone past Ibañez. Both the penalty and red card were probably incorrect decisions by Oliver.
Charlie Adam, wearing the captain's armband, stepped up for Blackpool and converted the penalty kick to Scott Carson's left to give his team a 1-0 lead, though Carson got a hand on the ball and almost stopped the shot.
The red card has forced West Brom into an early substitution. Roberto di Matteo has replaced striker Simon Cox with midfielder Steven Reid.