Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Aguero: Refs favour British players

Sergio Aguero was disappointed Manchester City did not get a penalty against Fulham

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero believes foreign players have a tougher time with referees in the Barclays Premier League than their British counterparts.

The 24-year-old netted the leveller in Saturday's 2-1 victory at Fulham, which was decided by substitute Edin Dzeko's late strike. The Cottagers took an early lead through Mladen Petric's penalty, which Aguero claims should never have been given against Pablo Zabaleta for a trip on John Arne Riise.

Asked if foreign players have it tougher than English players, he said: "Yes, always. It happens everywhere. There is a little bit of privilege with players who come from that country, but that is normal. We just play our game, and the referee's job is to know who is tricking him and who is not."

The Argentina international added: "I try not to get involved with problems involving referees. There will always be mistakes for any team and he got the decision [on the Fulham penalty] wrong, but that can happen in any game."

That view echoed the sentiments of City boss Roberto Mancini, who claimed the decision was the latest in a number of "mistakes" made in the reigning champions' recent matches.

Aguero was coy when asked if he felt his side were not getting the decisions but more forthcoming on the disparity between nationalities after a game in which Zabaleta and Carlos Tevez had penalty appeals turned down.

Aguero added: "All we can do is not let that get to us and just keep on playing our game."

Pushed further on whether referees are a bit suspicious of foreign players, Aguero added: "Maybe, yes. It can happen, but I don't think it did here. If it does, it's not good for anyone. Here in England, there are almost as many foreign players as English players and it's not right that some have a privilege that others don't."

Aguero may be frustrated but can take solace from his side's improved performance by the Thames in a season which they have begun slightly off form.

"Last year too," Aguero said of City's indifferent form. "We started well and then we had a period where things weren't quite as good, and then we finished really strongly. It is hard. We have to think about the job the coach has to do - he has lots of very important players and it is hard to identify 11 to play on the pitch. That is hard. He tries to do the best he can, just as we do."

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