Phil Jagielka has described referee Martin Atkinson as "arrogant", following Everton's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.
In the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final, as Everton captain, Jagielka appealed to Atkinson after Raheem Sterling appeared to take the ball beyond the byeline, before crossing for Kevin de Bruyne, who put City ahead on the night and level on aggregate.
However, the England defender has revealed that his appeal was met by a very sarcastic response from the experienced official.
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"He just told me that our defending was brilliant" recalled the 33-year-old before adding: "it's difficult when things start going the wrong way and they (officials) become a little bit arrogant.
"If he made a decision wrong or he didn't see it, that happens. But when you go and speak to people and, in such big games, get the answers you get, it's that little bit more frustrating.
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"The replays show it's not just an inch or so out. You expect the officials that are supposed to be of a high standard to spot that, but this obviously wasn't one of those nights."
Jagielka was not the only one indignant at Atkinson's decision: alluding to the incident, Everton manager Roberto Martinez declared the result as "hurtful and unfair", before describing himself as "heartbroken".
Unfortunately this is not the first time Atkinson has been at the centre of an Everton controversy. In October 2011, Atkinson sent off midfielder Jack Rodwell in the 23rd minute of a crunch Merseyside derby, for an innocuous tackle on Luis Suarez.
Liverpool went on to win the game at Goodison 2-0, with former Toffees manager David Moyes in doubt whether the challenge even warranted a free-kick. Rodwell's red card was inevitably overturned and Atkinson's reputation hindered.
With their Capital One Cup campaign now over, Everton must turn their attention to Sunday's trip to Carlisle in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Despite boasting arguably the best squad in their recent history, Martinez's side have struggled for consistency all season; they currently sit 12th, having drawn 11 of their 23 league games - many after being in winning positions.
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