Manuel Pellegrini has denied Jose Mourinho’s claims that Manchester City have been fortunate with refereeing decisions this season and accused the Chelsea manager of lying.
Mourinho stated that City have benefited from several crucial calls this season but Pellegrini hit back at the Portuguese, pointing out that referees’ chief Mike Riley apologised to Steve Clarke, then in charge of West Brom, for awarding a controversial late penalty that denied Albion victory at Stamford Bridge in November.
And the City manager, who believes Sunderland’s winner against his team earlier this season came after a foul and Karim El Ahmadi was offside before he scored for Aston Villa in their 3-2 triumph, is worried his side will be perceived as lucky because of Mourinho’s rhetoric -- even though he feels officiating decisions have benefited Chelsea more.
Mourinho talked last week about a series of disallowed goals for opponents as City beat Liverpool 2-1, Tottenham 5-1 and Newcastle 2-0.
He also cited referee Howard Webb’s refusal to give Liverpool’s Luis Suarez a late penalty at the Etihad Stadium, and the dismissal of Tottenham defender Danny Rose, which was subsequently rescinded.
Mourinho said: “The reality is they have many crucial decisions in their favour. They are lucky. Against Liverpool, the Sterling ‘goal’. The penalty on Suárez. Against Newcastle, the goal that is a clear goal. Against Tottenham, Dawson’s goal, the penalty and the red card.”
But Pellegrini responded: “The only time a referee has come out and apologised about an important mistake is in the Chelsea-West Brom game [which finished 2-2] -- the penalty in the 93rd or 94th minute. That's given them one point more.
“If you are talking about the decision at Tottenham: everyone said Rose touched the ball with his left leg before he tackles [Edin] Dzeko. But we'd had six clear chances, it's not like in that moment the game changes
"The other decision at Newcastle -- the referees at the beginning of the season they would say not offside. But now they might say it was offside. And we scored another goal, it was not a goal that decided the match.
“So it's very simple -- every week you say what you think is better for you. There's a famous sentence -- 'lie, lie but some things remain [and they become accepted as the truth].'”
Pellegrini’s final comment was a reference to the Spanish phrase “tú calumnia, que algo queda," implying that people can profit from saying false things about others.