Everton manager David Moyes hit out at the officials after his side conceded a controversial penalty in a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
The Toffees were leading the Barclays Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium through Marouane Fellaini when the Belgian was penalised after tangling with Edin Dzeko just before half-time.
Everton protested about the decision, feeling Dzeko went to ground too easily, and Moyes was still complaining to the fourth official as the players left the field at the break.
Carlos Tevez was not affected by the commotion as he converted from the spot to cancel out Fellaini’s headed opener.
Moyes said: “It is not a penalty kick.
“I don’t know how many penalties Manchester City have had in their home games recently, but as far as I know it is quite a few. They got another one today.
“You can’t be giving ones like that. There’d be a penalty every time there’s a corner kick.”
Moyes’ complaints to fourth official Anthony Taylor also seemed to be exacerbated by a case of mistaken identity.
The Scot said: “The fourth official told me that it was given for a foul by Leon Osman, so I’ve got my doubts if the referee saw the incident.
“But even if it was Fellaini, it’s not a penalty kick, nowhere near.
“They say it levels itself out. We’ll see.”
The result was Everton’s seventh draw in their last nine games but unlike with some of the previous stalemates, Moyes felt the point was ultimately a good one.
He said: “We’ve been playing well in most of the games and we showed it again against the champions.
“I was pleased with that and then 20 minutes after half-time we knew we would have to weather it.
“Manchester City tend to get better in the second half and they did do.
“It was a good draw for us. We’ve had some bad draws but that was a good draw.”
City boss Roberto Mancini disagreed with Moyes’ verdict on the penalty.
“I am not happy with some decisions,” Mancini said. “There were five, six or seven situations that I didn’t like.
“I think the penalty was a penalty. The fourth official was very close with me.
“How it is possible he can see from there what is going on in the box – it is difficult. The referee was there.”
City remain unbeaten in their title defence and have not lost at home in the League for 37 matches, a run stretching back to a defeat to Everton two years ago.
Yet Everton remain a recurring problem for City, having lost eight of their 10 previous games against the Merseysiders.
Mancini said: “Everton is always a difficult game because they work hard, they defend very well.
“In the second half we played better, probably deserved to score another goal.
“In the end we are not happy but the season is long and this doesn’t change anything.
“If you don’t pay attention you can lose three points and it is sometimes better to take one.”
Although Tevez got on the scoresheet, Mancini remains frustrated with the goal output of his strikers.
He said: “In this moment we are not very strong with our strikers. We need them to score more goals.
“They are four top strikers but this can happen during the season.
“It is important they work hard like they worked today. Dzeko, Tevez, Sergio (Aguero), Mario (Balotelli) – in this moment we are like this but I think we will solve this problem.”
The crowd booed when Mancini opted to replace Tevez with Aguero in the second half, rather than taking off Dzeko, who endured a frustrating afternoon.
Mancini said: “I have my reason for this. I am not stupid. I understand the supporters.
“For the supporters, if I put on four strikers and take off four defenders, they are happy. But football is not (like) this.
“Everton can score only on set-pieces. I needed one or two players that could also help the defenders in this situation.
“I also thought that Dzeko could score one goal in that moment, not because Carlo played worse than Dzeko. Carlo played very well.”
City face arch-rivals Manchester United in the Premier League next weekend.
Mancini was forced to deny suggestions that he has banned his players from speaking about the upcoming derby over the next week.
He said: “No. I am not like other managers. I don’t make this decision. I live in a free country where every opinion is free.
“I can’t stop the opinion from my players. This is not true. I am used to saying what I think. My players are the same.”