Ref cost City victory, says Pellegrini

Ref cost City victory, says Pellegrini
Manchester City's Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini.

LONDON - Manuel Pellegrini has accused referee Mark Clattenburg of costing Manchester City victory following a 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Saturday.

The City manager insisted a series of major decisions went against the English Premier League champions at the Emirates Stadium, claiming there were fouls in the build-up to both Arsenal goals.

The Chilean added that his men were denied a clear penalty when the ball struck the hand of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

He also compared Clattenburg's performance to his display in City's 3-2 defeat at Liverpool in April, when Pellegrini again condemned the referee's decision-making.

"Both Arsenal goals were very clear fouls. For the first one, it was two or three continuous fouls on Sergio Aguero, and (in) the second one, Danny Welbeck pushed Vincent Kompany with no intention of playing the ball and then it was a goal," Pellegrini said.

"The only other doubt is that we were denied a clear penalty for a handball.

"Last season, it was Martin Skrtel with a fist for Liverpool in the six-yard box and today, it was Jack Wilshere with two hands on the ball inside the box right in front of the linesman and no penalty is given.

"He (Clattenburg) had a very bad game, he had a bad day today and he had another against Liverpool last season.

"Arsenal scored both goals with fouls. Of course he (Clattenburg) cost us victory."

Aguero put City ahead midway through the first half, but Arsenal recovered with goals from Wilshere in the 64th minute and Alexis Sanchez 10 minutes later, before Martin Demichelis levelled six minutes from time.

Both teams start their Champions League group campaigns this week, with City at Bayern Munich and Arsenal travelling to Borussia Dortmund.

But Arsenal are likely to be without France right-back Mathieu Debuchy. Manager Arsene Wenger revealed that the player has a badly sprained ankle and the club do not know how long he will be out for.

Wenger handed an Arsenal debut to Welbeck following the striker's £16 million move (S$33 million) from Manchester United.

Welbeck was unable to mark his first appearance with a goal, but Wenger said it would take time for the forward to bed in.

"He did well. He needs to build up his link play with our players, but that is normal."


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