Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has hit out at referee Mike Dean for the champions’ 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Sunday, Express reports.
The Chilean pointed to the penalty awarded by Dean in the 24th minute as the decisive moment, which was converted by Santi Cazorla giving the Gunners an important lead.
Trailing league leaders Chelsea by five points, City needed to continue their 13-game unbeaten streak to stay on track before the two clubs face each other at the end of the month.
However they were unable to do so against a rampant Arsenal, who were awarded a penalty when Vincent Kompany seemed to have obstructed Nacho Monreal’s run into the box resulting in the opening goal.
Commenting on the incident, Pellegrini said: “I think the penalty changed the game. I don’t like to think it was a penalty, it was not a penalty.
“The movement of Kompany allows him [Nacho Monreal] to dive.
“It was unnecessary to do it (award the spot-kick) and after that it seemed that the game changed.
“Before the penalty we have the possession of the ball, we play near their box and they (do not) have any clear chances (from open play) to score during the whole game.
“The two goals of Arsenal were set-pieces – one penalty and one free-kick.”
French striker Olivier Giroud grabbed the game’s second goal after he managed to get onto the end of Santi Cazorla’s free-kick, with the winning result now putting the Gunners only one point off fourth place.