Manchester City boss Mark Hughes blasts 'laughable' ref Clattenburg over Craig Bellamy red card
Published 23:00 12/12/09 By By Derick Alsop
Manchester City manager described the performance of Mark Clattenburg and his assistants ‘laughable’ after Craig Bellamy’s mysterious sending off in the 3-3 draw at Bolton.
Bellamy was shown yellow for diving when he was clearly caught by Paul Robinson, who claimed the Welshman took a fall.
But to the amazement of almost everyone at the Reebok, Clattenburg them produced the red. Bellamy had been booked for dissent following Bolton’s third goal.
Hughes said: "That was a laughable decision. For some reason Mr Clattenburg thought Craig was looking to deceive him but he quite clearly took a knock.
"My assistant (Mark Bowen) has been to see the referee and was not too impressed. We’re frustrated with the officials’ performance.
"Their first goal was clearly offside and everybody was mystified when Craig was sent off.
"Craig knew he had been booked but that was because the officials got the wrong decision in the build-up to the third goal. The throw should have been ours.
"And I don’t like it when the referee makes comments to our staff about players in our team that he doesn’t like. We’ve got key games coming up and Craig’s not available.’
Despite that blow, Hughes was encouraged by City’s ability to come back from behind three times, a performance typified by Carlos Tevez’s two goal contribution.
Hughes said: "Carlos was outstanding. He led from the front. He’s reaching levels of fitness that enable him to produce performances like that."
Bolton manager Gary Megson admitted he had sympathy for Bellamy. Megson said: "I felt the decision was a bit harsh. I didn’t realise he’d been booked in the first place.
"I was with him at Norwich and he’s still the same lad, the same marvellous player.
"It was a marvellous game to watch, but for us to score three times and lead three times and then not win is a disappointment.
"Klasnic did well over all as well as coring his two goals. We know he’ll finish when he gets the opportunities."