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City manager Pellegrini loses cool over referee

September 13, 2014

LONDON (AP) — The normally serene Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini lost his cool and slammed the referee for allowing two “illegal goals” and missing what he called a clear penalty in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Saturday.

In a rare outburst from Pellegrini, the Chilean said there were fouls in the buildup to both of Arsenal goals and criticized referee Mark Clattenburg for not blowing the whistle for a handball in Arsenal’s area by midfielder Jack Wilshere.

“It’s a good point when they score two illegal goals,” Pellegrini said. “For the first one, it was two or three fouls — continuous fouls — on (Sergio) Aguero, and the second one (Danny) Welbeck pushed (Vincent) Kompany with no intention of playing the ball and then it was a goal.”

Pellegrini, who is known for a having a cool and unflappable demeanor, was visibly upset, saying the Premier League champions would have left Emirates Stadium with all three points if it hadn’t been for poor refereeing.

“Today, it was unbelievable,” Pellegrini said. “Two goals for Arsenal and another penalty he didn’t whistle for - twice, with the hand inside the box. ... He (Clattenburg) had a very bad game.”

In City’s 3-2 loss to Liverpool in April, Clattenburg gave Liverpool a free kick late in injury time inside the team’s own area, even though the ball appeared to be handled by Martin Skrtel. On Saturday against Arsenal, TV replays appeared to show Wilshere handling the ball.

“We were denied a clear penalty for a handball,” Pellegrini said. “Last season, it was Skrtel with a fist for Liverpool in the six-yard box and today it was Wilshere with two hands on the ball inside the box.”

Pellegrini said it will be difficult to retain the Premier League title this season.

“It will be very hard because all the teams want to beat us,” Pellegrini said. “I think that we have difficult decisions from the referee, not just today but in the last game against Stoke where we were denied a clear penalty.

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