Roberto Martinez disagreed with Manuel Pellegrini over the late penalty decision in the draw between Manchester City and Everton.
Pellegrini felt his City side were denied a “clear” penalty in the closing stages, with referee Roger East adjudging John Stones’s slide tackle on Raheem Sterling to be fair.
Martinez said: “What you want as a manager is a referee who is 100 per cent when he gives that decision.
“The way I saw it, I see John Stones going to ground trying to block the trajectory of the ball. All of a sudden Raheem Sterling is quite happy not to play the ball and he wants to invite some sort of contact.
“It is impossible from that point to say if it is intent or if it is a penalty or not. I don’t think the referee could have done it any better. If you are not certain, you don’t want to gamble in a decision that could have been so damaging from our point of view. I felt Roger made the right call there.”
Everton beat City in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at Goodison Park last week and Martinez was again pleased with the performance.
He said: “I thought in the first half we were very good. I thought we controlled the game for long spells, probably more than Manchester City and we had two big moments in front of goal – Gerry Deulofeu’s chance and Leon Osman with an incredible bit of technical ability.
“The second half was a little different. We found it difficult to impose ourselves but we had to show resilience and concentration and defend well.”
The main talking point prior to the game was the traffic problems on the motorway network surrounding Manchester. Many fans were not at the ground by kick-off – the Everton team coach was even held up earlier on – but the game went ahead as scheduled at 7.45pm.
Martinez said: “I think it was chaotic around Manchester city today, and the access to the Etihad Stadium was very difficult. The M62 was closed.
“We got here later than normal but with enough time to prepare. Delaying kick-off – I am always in favour of to allow fans to watch from the beginning, but it is not in our hands to make those decisions.
“We had to adapt to whatever the police and safety officer decided and we were quite happy to go along with it.”
Pellegrini said: “I didn’t know that. It was strange to see the stadium not full, but if it was a traffic problem, then I cannot say anything about that because it’s not my duty.”