Manuel Pellegrini said "football is cheating" following a week of controversy regarding managers' hectoring of referees and diving by players.
David Bernstein, the former Football Association chairman, accused managers of setting a "terrible example" to players by their conduct during games, while Chelsea's Oscar was criticised by his own manager, José Mourinho, for diving during the win at Southampton on New Year's Day. The Portuguese agreed with the Brazilian's booking by the referee, Martin Atkinson. Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj was shown a yellow card on the same day, during the 2-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.
"I think it's very difficult to be a referee," Pellegrini said. "The players play too quickly, the players are always trying to cheat because football is cheating. They are always trying to take advantage for their teams and of course nobody likes when referee blows against your team, but a lot of the time it can be to give you an advantage."
David Moyes defended Januzaj, who was booked after a tussle with Danny Rose, the United manager pointing to statistics that show the 18-year-old is the league's most fouled player. "I think the other night was the wrong decision," he said. "More people are tackling him than any other player. I've been saying that for five or six weeks. It gives you an idea of the ability the boy has got. But if you were going to have any sympathy with him at all, these are the reasons why."
Moyes does not want video technology introduced as a means of eradicating diving. "I wouldn't want videos to come into the game," he said. "I don't think referees would want that either. I think goal-line technology is a good situation. From what I've seen at the moment it's working well when it's had to work.
"We trust the referees to make the right decisions but like all human beings they will make the wrong ones at times. It hasn't changed how I felt about the Tottenham game, I thought there was a wrong decision and a penalty kick should have been awarded."