West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini claimed after the 1-0 loss at Manchester City that the penalty from which Sergio Aguero scored the winning goal should not have been awarded.
Aguero converted from the spot in the 59th minute, registering his 25th goal of the season in all competitions, after referee Stuart Attwell judged Felipe Anderson to have fouled substitute Bernardo Silva.
Former City manager Pellegrini said of the incident: “To be generous, a little soft. But (that is) too generous. It was not a penalty.
“It was a play that happens a lot of times inside the box. In the other box Manuel Lanzini had exactly the same and he didn’t throw (himself) to the floor.
“If we had lost this game with another action then maybe you could accept it, but not that penalty.”
When asked if he thought Silva had dived or just fallen over, Pellegrini said: “No, I think he has a touch with Felipe Anderson but not to throw (himself). He felt the kick and he goes to the floor.”
The spot-kick settled a contest in which City dominated possession and created numerous chances as they returned to league action three days on from their Carabao Cup final victory on penalties against Chelsea.
Boss Pep Guardiola said: “We played so well. When you see the result, 1-0, it looks like it could be better.
“We created an incredible amount of chances, in the first five minutes it could be 2-0. So of course we didn’t score as much goals as we needed for the way we played.
“But the performance in terms of how we defended the second ball, with (Michail) Antonio, with (Andy) Carroll, we did everything. There was an important chance for them, but before that and after that (what) we created (was) incredible.
“So after 120 minutes (on Sunday) we made an incredible performance. I am so delighted with the way we played tonight.”
Guardiola, who made five changes to his starting line-up, added: “I think the last 20 minutes and 25 minutes of the first half was not bad but a little bit flat, I think because in the mind for the players, they start to think about it, how could it be 0-0 with the amount of chances we had?
“In the second half we started really well, Kevin (De Bruyne) was closer to Riyad (Mahrez) and made good chances, and after, especially Raheem (Sterling) and Bernardo made a step forward in our intensity in the final third.
“We could have scored a second one, a third one. (Then) the last minutes would be more relaxed – with 1-0 it is always tough, because one set-piece, one counter-attack, especially with Carroll in the box, always danger.
“But we did well, really, honestly. I think we played a really good game.”
Second-placed City remain a point behind Liverpool in the Premier League, with the Reds having won 5-0 against Watford on Wednesday.
Guardiola said of the title race: “We know with 10 games (to go) many things is going to happen.
“I think we are going to drop points, I think Liverpool is going to drop points. So we are going to see, until the end.
“Important now is to refresh and (have a) good recovery and prepare for the game against Bournemouth (on Saturday).”