Stoke City 1 Man City 1: Mancini fumes over Crouch’s ‘basketball’ goal
Stoke City 0 Man City 0: A fuming Roberto Mancini describes Peter Crouch's first-half strike as a "basketball" goal
Roberto Mancini admitted his disbelief that Peter Crouch’s “basketball” goal was allowed to stand after Manchester City drew with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters striker appeared to handle the ball several times before guiding his finish past City goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 15th minute.
The Eastland outfit’s £24m summer signing Javi García restored parity with a powerful header from a first-half corner, but Mancini was left angered by Stoke’s opener despite securing a point.
“It’s incredible the referee hasn’t seen it [the handball]. It’s basketball, not football,” Mancini told BBC Sport.
“We know that coming here is always difficult. Every year it is 1-1, or a draw. Today was a difficult game but I didn’t see the goal, it’s incredible.
“In the end we were so unlucky. We had two chances to score, but their first goal, it’s impossible to concede a goal like this, because the referee was behind Crouch.”
Mancini’s frustration will have been compounded by Crouch’s admission that there was a hint of handball about his second goal of the season.
“There might have been a slight suspicion of handball, to be honest, but you carry on playing,” said Crouch.
“We thoroughly deserved a point. Sometimes you get breaks that go for you and sometimes you don’t. I’m delighted to have scored.”
Meanwhile, Tony Pulis revealed his delight to get a generous decision against the defending champions.
“I haven’t seen it but if Peter has [handled it] I’m absolutely delighted to have got one against one of the big clubs. Usually it is the big clubs who get one against us,” said Pulis.