I like Manuel Pellegrini.
He has class unlike some other top managers in this league that immediately spring to mind.
His post-match comments about Nacho Monreal are, however, a little hard to reconcile with the man I believe him to be.
Speaking to the media after the game he accused the Spaniard of diving to win the penalty that opened the scoring for Arsenal.
“I think it was not a penalty.
“The movement of Kompany allows him [Monreal] to dive.
“I am not saying it was a bad mistake of the referee.
“The penalty changed the game but it was not the reason we lost. I think it was a very important action [moment] because we were nervous after the goal.
“But I don’t want to have the excuse that the referee whistled for Arsenal.”
While it could certainly be called a ‘soft’ penalty there is clear contact.
As Monreal runs past Vincent Kompany, the City man moves his body in order to block his run. He catches Monreal’s hip and with the full-back running at pace it was never going to take much contact to make him go down.
Monreal is not a player who dives while Mike Dean is not the sort of referee who gives Arsenal penalties.
It was not a dive.
Given the number of absolute stonewall penalties Arsenal are denied regularly, and that’s not even mentioning the number of players who should be sent off against us, I’m getting mighty sick of hearing some of our players accused of diving when they clearly did not.
Kompany should have had a second yellow when he took Alexis Sanchez out on the edge of the box and Dean seemed to acknowledge the foul only to fail to do anything about it when the advantage was over but, of course, there was no mention of that.
Despite saying in the quote above that the penalty wasn’t why they lost, he then added
“There are two principal reasons [why we lost]: one was the penalty, which changed the game.
“And we were not creative. We didn’t have the ideas to cause damage in their defence.
“Without creativity it is difficult to score goals.
“Arsenal defended well and we ran and worked but we couldn’t create chances.”
I know you’re under pressure Pellegrini, but I expect better from you than this and the penalty wasn’t the reason you lost the match – you lost because Arsenal were simply superb and your side couldn’t or wouldn’t match their work-rate on the day.
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