Belfast Telegraph

Pellegrini on warpath after Manchester City are denied late penalty in Everton draw

Manchester City 0-0 Everton

By Andy Hampson

Raheem Sterling was controversially denied a late penalty as Manchester City were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Everton.

Sterling went down under a challenge from John Stones in injury time but referee Roger East gave nothing and City dropped two points in the Premier League title race.

City had dominated proceedings on a wet and cold night but were continually frustrated by the dogged visitors, for whom goalkeeper Tim Howard was outstanding.

Sergio Aguero also had a couple of penalty appeals turned down as City, a week after losing at Goodison Park in the Capital One Cup, once again found Everton a tough nut to crack.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini fumed afterwards: "Everyone in the stadium could see it was a penalty, it was so near to the referee and so clear.

"Both Raheem's legs were taken by Stones but if he doesn't whistle we can't say anything.

"I think we were the better team, Everton didn't create any chances, we had 17 shots but for different reasons we didn't score."

But Toffees manager Roberto Martinez had a different view. He said: "We have been on the back end of receiving a penalty in the last seconds against Stoke, it was a gamble from the referee.

"John Stones goes to slide to block the ball, Raheem Sterling does not play the ball and waited, in my eyes it is an area that is not certain if penalty or not.

"I believe the referee should control their emotions and the referee did exactly that.

"It is impossible to be 100 per cent certain and I am pleased he did this and showed his maturity."

City sent on Spanish wizard David Silva for the final 16 minutes in the hope of prising an opening but the visitors survived as Jesus Navas headed wide of the target and Aguero wriggled through but his effort wasn't of his usual high standard.

There was late drama as Aguero went down trying to beat two defenders but his appeal seemed optimistic.

Sterling's penalty claim seemed stronger, and fans thought East had pointed to the spot, but instead it was merely a goal-kick.

Everton have lost just one of their 10 Premier League away games this season while this was only Everton's second clean sheet in the league in their past eight games.

City had 22 shots but only five of them were on target.

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MAN CITY: Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Touré, Fernando, De Bruyne (Silva 74), Sterling, Agüero.

Subs not used: Zabaleta, Kolarov, Caballero, Delph, Iheanacho, Humphreys-Grant.

EVERTON: Howard, Stones, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines, Besic, Barry, Deulofeu (Pienaar 71), Barkley, Osman (Koné 71), Lukaku.

Subs not used: Robles, Oviedo, Mirallas, Lennon, Galloway.

Match rating: 6/10 Man of the match: Tim Howard Referee: Roger East

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