Referee ate too much at Christmas, fumes City's Mancini

Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:01am IST

Manchester City's Yaya Toure (L) reacts with referee Kevin Friend during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland in Sunderland, northern England December 26, 2012. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Manchester City's Yaya Toure (L) reacts with referee Kevin Friend during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland in Sunderland, northern England December 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis

REUTERS - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini had some harsh words for referee Kevin Friend and said his club may as well not bother turning up at Sunderland next season after suffering a 1-0 defeat in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Champions City, now seven points behind leaders Manchester United, lamented another wasted trip to Sunderland after also having lost there in the league on January 1.

"Maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas," said Mancini before adding that Friend missed a foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to the 53rd-minute winning goal by City discard Adam Johnson.

"You need to ask the referee why it was given, not me. I saw it was a big foul - it's impossible two men (Friend and his linesman) couldn't see it," added the Italian.

"Maybe next year we won't come here. We won't spend the money," he told City's website (www.mcfc.co.uk) in a tonque-in-cheek remark.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the first half with Vincent Kompany hitting the bar and Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet making good saves from Yaya Toure and David Silva.

After Johnson's second-half effort beat keeper Joe Hart, City struggled to create clear chances and Sunderland held on for a victory that lifted them seven points clear of the drop zone.

"We need to score...our strikers need to improve," Mancini said. "We need to change something in our team because we can't continue like this - we score too few goals.

"Sometimes we take too many touches and we think, 'never mind, we can score next time,' but we can't be like that - in football it doesn't work like that. We have to be stronger in the penalty area."

Second-placed City next play at Norwich City on Saturday and host Stoke City on January 1.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Tom Pilcher)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Wuhan Open

Wuhan Open

Ill Williams follows seeds out of Wuhan Open.  Full Article 

Light Speech

Light Speech

No hair-dryer treatment as 'fun-Fergie' addresses Ryder Cup team.  Full Article 

Not Fit Enough

Not Fit Enough

Four fall foul of Pakistan's new fitness crackdown.  Full Article 

Confident Westwood

Confident Westwood

European team as strong as it's ever been, says Westwood  Full Article 

Money Matters

Money Matters

United need massive investment on new players, says Neville.  Full Article 

Misfired Stroke

Misfired Stroke

Murray disappointed over Scottish independence Twitter row   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage