West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini bemoaned the penalty decision which saw Manchester City beat his side on Wednesday evening.
The Premier League champions secured a 1-0 win at the Etihad thanks to Sergio Aguero’s spot-kick after 59 minutes, but there was more than a hint of controversy surrounding the winning goal.
Bernardo Silva won the penalty after tangling legs with Felipe Anderson in the box, but replays showed that the Portuguese star made the most of a fairly innocuous challenge.
Pellegrini was understandably frustrated after the match, accusing Silva of diving to deceive the referee and ultimately cost his team a credible result in Manchester.
He came on and made all the difference!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 27, 2019
“I’m not happy with the result because it was not a penalty,” he told BBC’s Match of the Day – as per The Independent.
“Bernardo Silva threw himself down when he felt a touch. [Manuel] Lanzini had the same thing but didn’t go down, so the referee didn’t whistle.
“It was a play that happens a lot of times inside the box. In the other box, Lanzini had exactly the same and he didn’t throw [himself] to the floor.
“If we had lost this game with another action then maybe we could accept it, but not that penalty.”
City’s latest win ensured that they kept up the pressure on league leaders Liverpool, who managed to secure a 5-0 home win against Watford on the same night.
Only a point separates the two sides in this year’s title race and with ten matches remaining, good fortune could have a huge role to play in who ends up taking the trophy.
Pep Guardiola’s men certainly benefitted from a huge slice of that against the Hammers, but they will only be focusing on the fact that they have maintained their superb run at the start of 2019.
City have won 14 of their last 15 matches across all competitions and they are still chasing an unprecedented quadruple, having won their first trophy of the season by beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final last weekend.
Meanwhile, West Ham are down in 10th place, but Pellegrini will surely hope his team can finish in the top seven if they can maintain the high standards they set against City this week.