Man City news

Aguero: Refs favour British players

October 1, 2012
By ESPN staff

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero believes referees make tougher calls on foreign players than their British counterparts in the Premier League.

Sergio Aguero set the ball rolling for Manchester City
PA PhotosSergio Aguero joined Manchester City from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011

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Aguero, 24, netted City's equaliser in their 2-1 victory at Fulham over the weekend, which was decided by substitute Edin Dzeko's late strike. Fulham took an early lead through a Mladen Petric penalty, which Aguero claims should never have been given against Pablo Zabaleta for a trip on John Arne Riise.

City manager Roberto Mancini claimed the decision was the latest in a number of "mistakes" made by officials recently. Aguero refused to be drawn on whether his side were hard done by, but does believe there is a "privilege" given to British players.

"I try not to get involved with problems involving referees," Aguero said. "There will always be mistakes for any team and he got the decision [on the Fulham penalty] wrong, but that can happen in any game. All we can do is not let that get to us and just keep on playing our game."

Asked if foreign players have it tougher than British players, he said: "Yes, always. It happens everywhere. There is a little bit of privilege with players who come from that country, but that is normal. We just play our game, and the referee's job is to know who is tricking him and who is not."

Pushed further on whether referees are a bit suspicious of foreign players, he said: "Maybe, yes. It can happen, but I don't think it did here.

"If it does, it's not good for anyone. Here in England, there are almost as many foreign players as English players and it's not right that some have a privilege that others don't."

City have experienced a topsy-turvy start to the season, and sit fourth after six matches. Aguero, though, believes the team have what it takes to bounce back and defend their Premier League crown.

"Last year too," Aguero said. "We started well and then we had a period where things weren't quite as good, and then we finished really strongly.

"It is hard. We have to think about the job the coach has to do - he has lots of very important players and it is hard to identify 11 to play on the pitch. That is hard. He tries to do the best he can, just as we do."