'Arrogant' referee angers Everton's Jagielka

Phil Jagielka (Getty Images)
Phil Jagielka (Getty Images)

London - Everton's Phil Jagielka said referee Martin Atkinson was "a little bit arrogant" as the controversy over the referee's role in Everton's League Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City continued on Thursday.

Toffees skipper Jagielka was unhappy with the response he got when he asked Atkinson why a key City goal, after Raheem Sterling ran the ball out of play, was allowed to stand.

Atkinson and his linesmen did not spot that the ball had crossed the byline before Sterling's pull-back was turned in by Kevin de Bruyne, to give City a 2-1 lead in the second leg at the Etihad on Wednesday.

De Bruyne's disputed 70th-minute goal drew the aggregate scores level and City made it into the final 4-3 overall after Sergio Aguero's header six minutes later made it 3-1 on the night.

Asked if he spoke to the referee, Jagielka said: "I tried to. He told me that my defending was brilliant. So, it is difficult when things start going the wrong way and they become a little bit arrogant -- but unfortunately that is the way it goes with some.

"If he made a decision wrong or he didn't see it, that is what happens, but sometimes when you go and speak to people and, in such a big game, get the answers you get it is that little bit more frustrating."

The incident was the latest of several decisions to have gone against Everton, mid-table in the Premier League, in recent weeks.

During the past month a disputed penalty against Stoke, an offside goal at Chelsea and a handball incident at Swansea have all played their part in defeats for the Merseyside club.

Jagielka said: "It was a great cutback and a great finish but the replays show it is not just an inch or so out. You expect the officials that are supposed to be of a high standard to spot that but this obviously wasn't one of those nights.

"It did happen quite quickly but the way things have gone in the last few games, people can't see offsides and people can't see the ball out of play. We are obviously feeling a bit annoyed at some of the decisions we have got recently."

City's win means Liverpool old boy Sterling is set to face his former club in a Wembley final, having left Anfield in a bitter and protracted £49 million pre-season move.

However, Sterling said: "That is not a big thing on my mind. Obviously it is my ex team, but it is just another team on the way to get past.

"It (the final) is in my home city (London) and it is something I have wanted to do since I was a kid. Nothing is going to stop me from doing it."

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