Yaya Toure hopes to get a better deal from the referee as Manchester City turn their attention to Thursday’s crucial derby against Manchester United.
And the City midfielder has even claimed it would be better to play without an official in light of the controversy surrounding Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal.
City had what seemed a good first-half goal from Sergio Aguero disallowed before losing 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley.
Referee Craig Pawson chalked off the strike because his assistant deemed Leroy Sane’s cross to the Argentine to have drifted out of play before reaching the striker.
Replays indicated the decision was wrong while Aguero also thought he was denied a penalty early on.
City now need to pick themselves up quickly for a midweek clash that could have a huge bearing in the race for top four places in the Premier League.
“I think the referees have to stop this.” Toure said. “I am very disappointed. It is not the first time, there have been a couple of times.
“If we have to talk about referees, people are going to say ‘we complain’ but when we see the highlights, for me it is very disappointing.
“Maybe on Thursday we are going to have a better referee or maybe play without a referee – I’d prefer that.”
Asked if he thought the ball had stayed in play, Toure said: “Definitely, and it was a penalty and something more.
“But what can we do? If we talk about the referee the FA is going to come in for the punishment if we think like that, but I think I need to sleep and rest and forget this game.”
“They’re a great club, great players,” Toure added. “They played well and I think they deserved the win but at the end of the day we are very sad because when we see afterwards the highlights – the big mistake of the referee.”
For the first time in Pep Guardiola’s managerial career, the City boss now seems likely to end a season without any silverware.
Champions League qualification is now essential to prevent the campaign being viewed as a complete failure and the stakes are high for Thursday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium. City are fourth in the table with United just a point behind in a tight race.
“It is going to be difficult, it is very tight,” Toure said. “United are doing well, Arsenal are going to have confidence and Liverpool lost but it is not finished yet. This league is going to be very tough.
“It is a very big game, an important game. We have to do the job and we will see what can happen. We hope we are going to have a good referee.”