LIVERPOOL, England, March 16 – Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini failed to show for a television interview after seeing his side’s title hopes dealt a shattering blow in a 2-0 loss at Everton on Saturday.
City were particularly aggrieved by an incident late in the game at Goodison Park in which the visitors appeared to be denied a clear penalty.
With City 1-0 down and chasing the game, Carlos Tevez arrowed a shot at goal in the 86th minute that struck Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini on the arm.
The offence occurred well inside the penalty area but referee Lee Probert awarded a free-kick outside the box and after Everton successfully defended it, substitute Nikica Jelavic sealed victory with an injury-time goal.
City assistant manager David Platt said Mancini was too upset to address the media after the game.
“He’s angry, as you can imagine,” Platt told Sky Sports.
“I think he’s just taking stock of the situation and is calming himself down. He doesn’t want to come out here and say things that might get him into trouble.”
On the penalty incident, Platt said: “From where I was, live, he’s given the handball; I don’t know if it’s inside the area or not.
“You’ve just played it to me (on a television replay) and it’s not even on the line of the area, it’s three yards inside. People can draw their own conclusions but we didn’t get it.
“Perhaps we could have got more out of the game if the decisions had gone for us.”
Everton midfielder Leon Osman, who opened the scoring with a long-range strike in the 32nd minute, said his side were pleased to turn the page on last weekend’s loss to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup.
“It was disappointing last week but we showed when we are at the races we are a match for any team,” he said.
“We’ve just got to keep our heads down and try to churn out results like that. It is going to be tough as we have some tough games against some of the teams around us.”
Victory lifted Everton to fifth in the table ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games, while City could fall 15 points behind Manchester United if the leaders win at home to Reading later on Saturday.