Sean Dyche questioned the equalising goal that ended “fearless” Burnley’s FA Cup dreams and led to a stunning second half Manchester City fightback.
The Clarets boss was aggrieved at the quickly taken free kick that saw Sergio Aguero score the first of two goals in 90 seconds to cancel out Ashley Barnes’ first half opener and put City on course for victory.
Further goals from Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva completed the turnaround, ending the Clarets’ cup hopes for another year.
Dyche said: “I heavily question a moment that changed the course of the game. We had done a good job up until then, not only by scoring a fine goal, but working from our shape and frustrating the opposition.
“We know they have to start to open up and that can leave them open to the counter, but then it gets to a moment where, I imagine, the rules are probably in the referee’s favour.
“I don’t think he has to whistle, but at times you have to use common sense and that was such a moment.
“For one, Ashley Westwood is stood in front of the ball questioning the foul and then, four yards away, he is clearly asking the referee if he is going to blow.
“If they take the free kick and it hits Ashley, he gets booked. But it doesn’t, so that’s ok?
“The key point is that he is the player who would be in the slot where the pass goes for the goal, so I am bound to be aggrieved by that.”
Dyche added: “I spoke to the referee afterwards and he said he doesn’t need to blow the whistle.
"I just suggested when you are an experienced referee, you know the difference on that moment and when it leads to as goal I think you can use your experience."
Aguero quickly added a second and Dyche added: “We got a little punch drunk from that moment and that’s definitely a learning curve for the future.
“From that point, we had to go for it because it’s the FA Cup. We are not going to try and look for a lucky draw, but equally we have to protect our players.
“As they sometimes do, they get a few more chances and put them away, but overall they only had five shots on target and four goals, so that’s kind of a measure.
“Overall, I felt we gave a very good account of ourselves. We are at stretch today.
“We are missing players left, right and centre, but I thought to come to this team, who are flying, and take them on, was excellent.
“I was so, so pleased because I saw a team today that was fearless. The first 60 minutes were fantastic and I’m just a bit aggrieved about the one decision.”