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Bad day for the City as Micah pays the penalty

PLEA: Micah Richards and his team mates argue with referee Phil Dowd over last night's controversial decision

MANCHESTER CITY'S Micah Richards has hit out at Phil Dowd’s ‘poor decision’ to award Liverpool a penalty in last night's Carling Cup clash at Anfield. Referee Dowd pointed to the spot five minutes before half-time after Daniel Agger’s shot struck Richards’ arm.

However, replays showed that the ball rebounded onto the defender’s arm from his foot and the 23-year-old declared that there was little he could do about the ball hitting his hand: “It struck my foot and has gone on to my hand. I don't know what he expects me to do with that.”

Despite protests from the City players, Dowd maintained his stance, indicating that Richards had his arms up and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard converted the penalty past the outstanding Joe Hart to draw level on the night.

Manager Roberto Mancini also bemoaned the award after the game, describing it as an ‘impossible penalty’: “Micah can't cut off his arm because the ball touched his leg before. It was impossible that it was a penalty.”

Liverpool were worthy aggregate 3-2 winners despite City twice going ahead against the run of play. The visitors levelled on aggregate through a fantastic 25 yard effort from Nigel de Jong and a close-range Edin Dzeko strike 22 minutes into the second-half cancelled out Gerrard’s penalty. Man-of-the-match Craig Bellamy, however, had the final say and won the game with 16 minutes to go with a fine finish.

Richards acknowledged that the penalty hadn’t been the only reason why Mancini’s side had lost but he added that the decision had played a part.

“I won't say it has cost us but it has clearly played a massive part. Everyone goes on about respecting referees but it is decisions like that that are sometimes costing us. I give my full support to the referees but with those sort of decisions, unless you are 100 per cent sure, you shouldn't really be giving them."

And Man City’s longest serving player also took to his official Twitter page to vent his frustrations: “Not happy! How can I stop it hitting my hand if it hits my foot first! #badday”

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