Sport

It’s ‘normal’ for referees to give British players preferential treatment, insists Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero

By Dean Wilkins

It is ‘normal’ for referees to ‘always’ treat British players preferentially in the Premier League, insists Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.

The Argentinian striker grabbed a vital equaliser for the Blues against Fulham – as Edin Dzeko’s late striker earned City’s first win in five games.

The Cottagers were gifted an early penalty after John Arne Riise was brought down by Pablo Zabaleta – a decision that infuriated Roberto Mancini, as the fullback and Carlos Tevez were later denied spot kicks.

“I try not to get involved with problems involving referees,” the 24-year-old said.

“There will always be mistakes for any team and he got the decision [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.”

And when questioned is a foreign player is greeted with prejudicial calls by referees, Aguero 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.”

When questioned further about referee’s being mistrustful of foreign players, City’s top scorer of last season 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.”

But despite a weak run of form for Mancini’s men in the last four matches, registering their first win in three league games.

“Last year we started well and then we had a period where things weren’t quite as good, and then we finished really strongly,” he added.

“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.”

And as the Blues pushed up to fourth in the league table, the attention now turns to their Group of Champions European clash against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

“There are the best teams in every country in the competition,” Aguero said. “It is very difficult but we have a team that can beat anyone.

“Now we have to prepare ourselves as well as possible for Wednesday and produce a good performance.”

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