Hughes turns on Clattenburg after thriller

Bolton Wanderers 3 Manchester City 3: Eastlands manager claims referee has his favourites then slams him for sending off Bellamy and allowing offside goal

Reminded that a victory over Manchester City 13 months ago had revived Bolton's season and spared them a struggle against relegation, Gary Megson replied with a sigh: "That was £220 million ago."

The last month has proved beyond question that money has not changed Manchester City; they remain the same fallible, thrilling and frustrating side they always were. Francis Lee or Georgi Kinkladze would have recognised that performance, although they would have admired the way Manchester City, reduced to 10 men, fought their way back into the contest, with Carlos Tevez scoring twice from the edge of the area.

That they at least earned a point would have come as a relief, but Mark Hughes turned on the referee, Mark Clattenburg, who by playing six minutes of stoppage time in the Manchester derby had cost him a point in another high-scoring, thrilling contest. Yesterday, his decision to show Craig Bellamy a second yellow card for diving, when Paul Robinson appeared to trip the Welshman, was more than Hughes could stand.

"It was a laughable decision," he reflected. "At the speed Craig is going, it doesn't take much to trip him and that is what happened. There was no suggestion that he dived and it was not the first poor decision that referee made. The first Bolton goal was clearly offside and it was not a difficult decision to make.

"A member of my staff has been down to see him and we are not impressed by his excuses. I also do not appreciate him passing comment to members of my staff as he ran out for the second half about which players he does and does not like."

Nevertheless, Bolton's satisfaction at securing a point after an embarrassing defeat at Wolverhampton the previous week which had pushed Megson's regime to the very edge was tempered by the realisation that they ought to have won.

"We don't seem to be a club blessed with luck," Megson said afterwards, although this is true of every team who find themselves in the relegation zone. "Both Carlos Tevez's goals took deflections, one off Tamir Cohen, the other from Paul Robinson. We might have had a penalty [when Micah Richards under no pressure handled in the area]. But at 3-2 up and against 10 men, we should have seen it out."

However, if Megson's always unsteady regime is at its tipping point, it is going down with a fight, and on this evidence it would be hard to press the usual charge laid against a struggling manager – that he had "lost the dressing room". From their pre-match huddle to the final whistle, greeted with applause, this was the old, aggressive in-your-face Bolton, the team which Sam Allardyce created, and sometimes it was too much for Manchester City.

Having beaten Arsenal and Chelsea, City found themselves once more dragged back by the kind of team they yearn to escape. Ivan Klasnic probably had no need to stick out his boot to deflect home Chung Yong Lee's shot, which would have beaten Shay Given in any case.

There was no dispute, after Tevez had equalised, about Bolton's second, a wonderful turn and shot on the edge of the area from Gary Cahill, delivered with the aplomb of a centre-forward rather than a centre-half. Kevin Davies said that Cahill fancies himself as a striker, and if Fabio Capello is searching for a goalscoring defender, he is a better bet than most.

It was, however, a lead that Bolton, who have yet to manage a clean sheet this season, clung on to for barely a minute as Bellamy's surgically precise pass was buried past Jussi Jaaskelainen by Richards, another defender with a forward's instincts.

Nevertheless, Bolton began after the break with the same aggression they had displayed in the first half, and which had been almost entirely absent in the defeat at Wolves that had driven the club into crisis. Klasnic's second goal, a beautiful volley, appeared legitimate but Bellamy, predictably, disputed it, triggering a sequence of events that was to have serious consequences for the player, Manchester City and the referee.

Attendance: 22,735

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the match: Tevez

Match rating: 8/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'