Everton boss Martinez upset with officials over contentious Manchester City goal

27 January 2016 11:53

Angry Everton boss Roberto Martinez hit out at the officials after his side's controversial defeat in the Capital One Cup semi-final at Manchester City.

Martinez was furious that referee Kevin Friend and assistant Scott Ledger failed to spot the ball going out of play in the build-up to a crucial Kevin De Bruyne goal in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

The goal, contentiously set up by Raheem Sterling, put City ahead at 2-1 on the night and levelled the tie, which City then went on to win 4-3 on aggregate with a Sergio Aguero header.

Martinez said: "You don't want to be in a position where one of the key moments - it was always going to be key, it was a clear decision, the ball is out of play. That second goal affected the outcome too much.

"You feel so hurt because there have been a few big decisions that have not gone in our favour. It is affecting our results too much.

"You have to respect the referees, they have the toughest job in football, but certain decisions are clear-cut. When the ball is out of play in the modern game, you don't expect that to be missed.

"When it ends up with the second goal, you can imagine the major blow it has in our feelings, our performance and our chances to get through."

Everton led 2-1 from the first leg and increased their advantage through Ross Barkley. City rallied through Fernandinho and then got back level with De Bruyne's controversial effort after 70 minutes.

The incident is likely to increase calls for further use of video technology in the game.

Martinez said: "My question is do we need technology to get that right? Because if the answer is yes then we need technology.

"But I would expect international or Premier League linesmen to get that call right, and I would expect a top referee to get his angle and his position right."

Martinez was unwilling to entertain suggestions that poor decisions may have evened themselves out after City had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the first leg.

The Spaniard said: "I don't agree it was a clear penalty. There are many decisions you can argue - but what you are talking about is a clear-cut decision, when there is a clear call of the ball being over the line or not."

Opposite number Manuel Pellegrini suggested justice may have been served after events at Goodison Park three weeks ago and the superior performance of his side on the night.

Pellegrini said: "Maybe it was a mistake of the referee but I think Everton cannot complain about the referee. We lost at Goodison with a clear offside for the first goal and a clear penalty for Jesus Navas.

"We had one mistake against four or five mistakes. I think we had two shots on the post and were the better team.

"I'm very happy because I think we deserve to be in the final. It was a game of 180 minutes and I think we played this semi-final in an intelligent way."

City remain alive in four competitions.

Pellegrini said: "To play a final in Wembley - it is always a special stadium with a special atmosphere. If you have two very good teams such as Liverpool and Manchester City it will be a brilliant final.

"But we have one month. It is important to focus on the FA Cup and then two important games in the Premier League."

Source: PA