Gary Neville brands referee a “joke” as Valencia lose to Athletic Bilbao

Neville is not a happy man following his side's defeat on Sunday

Gary Neville brands referee a “joke” as Valencia lose to Athletic Bilbao

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Glen Laidlaw

February 29th, 2016

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Valencia boss Gary Neville was less then pleased about the performance of referee Gil Manzano, branding him a “joke” after his men were beaten at home by Athletic Bilbao yesterday to the tune of 3-0.

Heading into the match, Valencia were in confident mood following four back-to-back wins, however they suffered a comprehensive defeat to Athletic and the manager laid a lot of the blame squarely at the referee’s feet.

Manzano disregarded two penalty claims from the hosts and Neville wasn’t holding back when questioned in the post-match press conference.

“Today, I thought the referee was a joke,” Neville said. “It was embarrassing we didn’t get two penalties. I’ve not blamed referees in any of our games, but I thought his management of the game was awful. Some of the things he did were incredible.

“We’ve been a very soft coaching staff towards referees, we’ve tried to be respectful because we know its a difficult job, but I don’t understand how we didn’t have one of two penalties, one for Andre Gomes, the other for the handball.

“I don’t have a clue. And he booked three of our players and I don’t know how many fouls they had compared to us.”

Valencia go head-to-head with Bilbao two more times over the next few weeks after drawing the Basque side in the Europa League last-sixteen round.


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