Former referee Graham Poll believes Manchester City have been the victims of poor decisions in three consecutive matches following their Champions League quarter-final exit.
City bowed out of the Champions League on Tuesday, beaten 2-1 by Premier League rivals Liverpool, who sealed a 5-1 aggregate victory at the Etihad Stadium.
The match was not without controversy after Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring inside two minutes – Leroy Sane's goal ruled out for offside despite Liverpool's James Milner having touched the ball into the German's path.
City manager Pep Guardiola was infuriated as he confronted referee Mateu Lahoz at half-time before being sent to the stands for the second 45 minutes.
It was City's third successive defeat, with officiating at the centre of Saturday's 3-2 Premier League derby loss to Manchester City and last week's first-leg clash against Liverpool at Anfield, and Poll said the English leaders should feel aggrieved.
"Manchester City have been victims of poor refereeing decisions in three consecutive games which have defined their season," Poll wrote for the Daily Mail.
"On Tuesday night at the Etihad it was a combination of Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz and his assistant, Pau Devis, who made the error which had a massive impact on this game.
"City started well and got the early goal they needed and then just before half-time Leroy Sane scored the vital second.
"The assistant flagged for offside but the ball had been played forward by Liverpool's James Milner. I could understand the assistant thinking Gabriel Jesus had played the ball but from his position Lahoz should have over-ruled him and allowed the goal.
"Lahoz had started the game well, waving aside Virgil van Dijk's appeal for a free-kick in the build up to City's opening goal - there was no foul. He was also right to wave away three City appeals for penalties.
"There was also a nasty clash when Sadio Mane slipped and caught Nicolas Otamendi in the midriff and goalkeeper Ederson confronted the Senegalese. Yellow cards for both players were appropriate but Lahoz was a little too card happy in other incidents.
"Where he didn't hesitate was in banishing Pep Guardiola to the stands for his protests at half time. Guardiola should know better as he needed to stay calm and lead his team by example.
"However, after the run of poor decisions he has suffered I could understand his frustration boiling over. City weren't the same without him on the touchline."