Yaya Toure has complained about refereeing standards following Manchester City’s controversial FA Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal.
And the City midfielder has even suggested it would be better to play without an official in Thursday’s crucial derby against Manchester United.
Referee Craig Pawson was the main focus of Toure’s ire after City had what seemed a good first-half goal disallowed before losing 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero thought he had scored but the effort was chalked off because Leroy Sane’s cross was ruled to have drifted out of play before reaching the Argentinian.
Replays indicated the decision was wrong while Aguero, who did later give City the lead, also thought he should have had a penalty early in the game.
Toure said: “I think the referees have to stop this. 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.”
City’s attention now turns to Thursday and a derby which could have a huge bearing on the battle for top-four places in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s side currently occupy the fourth of the Champions League positions, with United just a point behind in a tight race.
Toure said: “It is a very big game, an important game. We have to do that job and we will see what can happen. We hope we are going to have a good referee.”