Asmir Begovic believes the likes of Bournemouth are at a disadvantage compared to the Premier League heavyweights when it comes to refereeing decisions.
Begovic, who joined Bournemouth from reigning champions Chelsea during the close-season, was on the receiving end of a cruel defeat against Manchester City on Saturday, when Raheem Sterling’s 97th-minute winner gave Pep Guardiola’s side a dramatic 2-1 win at the Vitality Stadium.
Sterling was then sent off as referee Mike Dean deemed his celebrations to be excessive amid wild scenes, with some of the travelling supporters spilling on to the field.
Dean earlier engaged in lengthy dialogue with Guardiola and his Bournemouth counterpart Eddie Howe to resolve a dispute between the two benches that contributed to the signalled five minutes of stoppage time being extended.
The last-gasp nature of City’s winner irritated Begovic, who felt Nicolas Otamendi was fortunate to be awarded a free-kick for a foul by Lys Mousset in the build-up to the goal. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international suggested such calls are part of a wider trend.
“I don’t think we got many calls at the end. That’s to be expected; the bigger team always gets the calls,” he said, as quoted by The Guardian.
“There were probably a couple of dodgy calls at the end. Jermain [Defoe] being fouled on the halfway line when we tried to break. That was obviously a call we would’ve liked and didn’t get.
“There were a couple of things that didn’t go our way. The seventh minute [of added time] they scored, when it should’ve been five minutes. There’s probably a couple of things we have a right to be unhappy with.
“You look at the extra time, you could see a couple of things didn’t go our way that’s for sure. Maybe it is subconsciously … but we were on the wrong side of it and I think the bigger teams do get those calls.”
WHAT A MOMENT. pic.twitter.com/NIcEPbYtSQ
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 26, 2017
Dean made few friends on the south coast, with City angered by Nathan Ake only being booked for bringing down Gabriel Jesus as he looked to bear down on goal.
Brazil international Jesus cancelled out Charlie Daniels’ spectacular opener but was also on the receiving end of a robust challenge from Steve Cook that went unpunished.
Nevertheless, Begovic maintained Bournemouth were entitled to feel hard done by.
“It is maybe a thing because maybe the bigger teams put more pressure on and maybe they get more calls, more decisions,” he added.
“I don’t know if it’s pressure from people on the sidelines or whatever it is.
“There were definitely a couple of things in the last 10 minutes. You look at it and think we would’ve liked that and deserved that to go our way but, hey, we gave it our best and it wasn’t meant to be.”
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