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Pellegrini upset with officials over Sterling penalty in Tottenham loss

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He's probably right to be mad, though.

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Manchester City Manuel Pellegrini is not happy about the officiating in today's 2-1 win for Tottenham at the Etihad. He was particularly livid about a penalty given by Mark Clattenburg after he adjudged Raheem Sterling handled the ball in the box off a Danny Rose cross.

"It was a penalty that referee Mark Clattenburg wanted to sign for and he gave the sign. It was absolutely the wrong decision, it hit the back of Raheem Sterling then his elbow. Sterling was not even seeing the ball. It was the same referee in the first game where there were two clear goals in offside and we lost 4-1.

It was the key moment that decided the game; before that they did not shoot towards our goal and did not have any chances. We took the risks, the spirit of the team was good but it was not enough."

That's SALTY. But probably not incorrect. Let's take a look at the play. (This was the only Vine I could find of the incident, so everyone turn your phones and monitors to the side to watch.)

And since the video is somewhat inconclusive, here's a screencap.

Ehhhhhhhh. Replays of the incident seemed to show pretty clearly that not only did the handball on Sterling look incidental, but it also went off his lower back and onto his elbow. This particular angle does suggest that it went off his elbow, but I'm super skeptical that it was actually the correct call. On the other hand, this happened really quickly, officials are human, and sometimes need to make snap judgement calls. So sure, Spurs probably got lucky on this one, but Sterling probably should've kept his arms tucked in as well.

Both sets of supporters probably have good reason to be ticked off at Clattenburg after this match. City are ticked about the penalty, and Spurs fans are upset that Yaya Toure had about four yellow card-worthy tackles on Spurs players and never once got booked. The Premier League should take a long hard look at Clattenburg's performance on Sunday, and it wouldn't surprise me if he's reffing in League 2 next weekend.