Bernardo Silva has called for referees to clamp down on heavy challenges after a number of his Manchester City teammates came onto the receiving end of some wince inducing tackles in recent games.
City manager Pep Guardiola previously called on referees to provide more protection for players after Leroy Sane sustained ankle ligament damage in Sunday's FA Cup win over Cardiff.
ANOTHER RED CARD OFFENCE AS MATT PHILLIPS FLIES IN HIGH ON DIAZ AND IS GIVEN A YELLOW CARD WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END???!!!!!!!— WeAreMCFC™ (@WeAreMCFC) January 31, 2018
Both Kevin De Bruyne and Brahim Diaz also came in for some heavy treatment in City 3-0 win over West Brom on Wednesday night, and when asked last night if he felt City were being targeted, Silva told the Daily Telegraph:
“Obviously. The coach and everyone already spoke about that. It’s clear that over the last few months - we’ve seen with Leroy it was a terrible accident and now he’s injured for two months, a very important player. Today it could have been Brahim [Diaz], it could have been Kevin [de on the second goal."
James McClean with an attempted horror-tackle on De Bruyne before that goal, and he gets a yellow card for his troubles.— City Watch (@City_Watch) January 31, 2018
The challenges on De Bruyne and Diaz resulted in yellow cards for West Brom's midfield pair of James McClean and Matty Phillips respectively, though Silva suggested that it could have been more, as he went onto say:
“I think, as the coach says, the referees have to do their job and if it’s a red card they have to give the red card. They are not doing that over the last few months. We hope that soon they start protecting our players because the way other teams are tackling our players it’s not part of the game, it’s not fair play and they have to try to punish the players that play this way.”
Matt Phillips has just chopped Diaz in two. High foot around the knee area. Got the ball, but probably lucky to stay on the pitch.— Matt Wilson (@mattwilson_star) January 31, 2018
The win over West Brom put City 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League ahead of their trip to Burnley on Saturday.