Lambert left fuming by dubious penalty award before champions open floodgates
19:09 GMT, 17 November 2012
19:09 GMT, 17 November 2012
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert railed against the officials after his side crashed to a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.
Villa were only trailing 1-0 to the Barclays Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium when the hosts were awarded a controversial penalty early in the second half.
The visitors were mystified when referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot, having spotted a flag from his assistant, as David Silva swung a corner into the box.
Up you get: David Silva (left) celebrates with Carlos Tevez (right) after the goal
Manchester City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Clichy (Kolarov 73), Nastasic, Nasri, Barry, Silva (Sinclair 76), Y Toure, Aguero (Dzeko 69), Tevez
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Sinclair, Garcia
Goals: Silva 43, Aguero 54 pen, 67, Tevez 65 pen, 74
Aston Villa: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, Lowton, Ireland (Albrighton 62), Westwood, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke (Bowery 83), Weimann (Holman 62),
Subs not used: Given, Baker, El Ahmadi, Delph
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It transpired Andreas Weimann had
been penalised for handball as he leapt to reach the cross but the
debate over what proved the game's major turning point raged for some
Lambert said: 'That's never a handball. What the linesman saw there I do not know.
'You have got to be 100% sure to give that and he saw something I think 50,000 other people never saw.'
Lambert added there was 'no point' complaining to the referee.
He said: 'We, as managers, are always hauled up – but that is a woeful decision.
'I haven't clue what he saw. It might not have changed the game but we certainly had a foothold in it.'
City took full advantage of the
controversy as Sergio Aguero struck from the spot and then added another
after Carlos Tevez had scored a second penalty.
Dynamic duo: Tevez's Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero also got in on the act
Class act: David Silva scored on the stroke of half-time to get the ball rolling for City
Quids in! Tevez scored two on the day, including one from the spot
Tevez wrapped up the scoring with
his second of the afternoon. The first penalty was not the only decision
which bothered Lambert, who also felt there had been an infringement in
the build-up to David Silva's first-half opener.
Flashpoint: Paul Lambert (left) speaks with fourth official Mark Halsey (right)
Lambert said: 'Even with the first
goal, there might have been a case of dangerous play with the overhead
kick in the penalty area.
'You just never know. I thought Joe Hart made a brilliant save to keep out Christian Benteke's header.
'We were well in the game – we had a
foothold in it and that is a big thing coming here. But the penalty was
a really shocking decision.'
Dominated: Yaya Toure (left) bossed the midfield for Manchester City
You again: Edin Dzeko (right) replaced Aguero, but was unable to grab a customary goal
Despite the issues, City ultimately won convincingly, much to the relief of their manager Roberto Mancini.
City's form has been under scrutiny
but they remain unbeaten in the competition and are well on course in
their title defence. Mancini said: “I am very satisfied with this
'In the first half we played well created a lot of chances but we were too soft when we had chances to score.
'But we played well and this is the most important thing.
Brazilian connection: Maicon (left) chases Gabby Agbonlahor (right)
Sneaking it in: Aguero's deflected shot left Guzan stranded before it hit the back of the net
Job done: Tevez, Silva and Samir Nasri celebrate when City were well on their way to victory
'In the last two games I think we changed something. In our mind we found a good spirit, like last year.
'For us it is very important we start
to play well and in the last two games we have scored six goals with
our strikers. I think we have been missing their goals.'
Mancini also praised Hart, whose
form has been questioned in recent weeks and criticism increased after
his display in England's midweek friendly loss in Sweden.
Mancini said: 'This is his job. He
received criticism from you (press) after the international game, but
this is part of our life.
No chance: Aguero rifled his penalty past Brad Guzan
Are you kidding Andreas Weimann and Barry Bannan were incredulous after Jonathan Moss gave the first penalty
'Sometimes you can do well, sometimes you can do bad games.
'But it is important to have very
strong characters in this situation. Today he saved in the first half
(in) an important situation.'
Mancini confirmed striker Mario
Balotelli, who was absent from the matchday squad for a second
successive week, had suffered a back injury in training.
He said: 'Yesterday in the training session he had a problem in his back and said he couldn't play.'