Tuesday 22 August 2017

It would be better to play derby without a referee - Toure

Toure: Unhappy with referees. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters
Toure: Unhappy with referees. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

James Ducker

Yaya Toure says he would prefer to play Thursday's Manchester derby without a referee after condemning the officiating during City's FA Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal.

The City midfielder believes his team have been the subject of too many "unfair" decisions this season and called for referees to start explaining any controversial decisions after claiming it is too easy for them to hide.

Martin Atkinson will take charge of City's Premier League match against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, one that could have a significant bearing on both clubs' top-four hopes, and Toure has called for a strong showing from the West Yorkshire official.

Toure was furious that a seemingly legitimate goal was ruled out after Leroy Sane's cross was judged to have gone out of play before Raheem Sterling scored on Sunday.

He was also dismayed that Sergio Aguero was denied a penalty by referee Craig Pawson when the City striker was brought down in the area by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

City were similarly aggrieved that a heavy challenge by Gabriel on David Silva that ultimately led to the City midfielder's substitution was not punished by a yellow card.

Silva has a dead leg and will be assessed ahead of the derby although the Spaniard and Aguero, who also took a knock against Arsenal, took part in a recovery session yesterday afternoon in an encouraging sign.

"I think the referees have to stop this," Toure said. "Maybe on Thursday we are going to have a better referee or maybe play without a referee - I'd prefer that. It is a very big game. We hope we are going to have a good referee.

"It's always painful when you lose games like this. When you lose the fair way - like the game we lost to Monaco (in the Champions League) - it was deserved. But this was quite strange, very sad.

"It's going to be difficult for me to forget this game because I'm very, very angry. I think the referee has to come (out) now and give their point of view as well. It's too easy for them.

"But if you say anything about them, it's going to be highlighted and the FA are going to come and fine me."

Toure believes there is no margin for error against United, who will leapfrog City if they win. "If we win, we will forget this game, but if we lose then it will be more difficult," he said. "We need to be in the Champions League. City have qualified for six years now, and Thursday is very important." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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