Lokomotiv Moscow coach Slaven Bilic slammed the refereeing of his team’s 1-1 draw with Zenit St. Petersburg after a player was sent off in a case of mistaken identity Saturday.
Lokomotiv midfielder Roman Shishkin was shown the red card on 32 minutes after a second booking for a foul on striker Hulk.
The referee did not appear to see who had fouled Hulk, but booked Shishkin, apparently at the urging of the fourth official.
Both goals were scored before Shishkin was sent off, with Zenit later also reduced to ten men.
“I didn’t see the foul on Hulk, but everyone’s assured me that [Vedran] Corluka was near Hulk, but Shishkin wasn’t close,” Bilic said.
“You don’t have to be a genius to understand that this was a big mistake on the part of the referee, and it influenced the course of the game.”
Lokomotiv president Olga Smorodskaya later told R-Sport the team intended to appeal the red card.
The match followed a week of turmoil for Zenit with midfielder Igor Denisov and striker Alexander Kerzhakov relegated to the reserves after Denisov argued with management about new signing Hulk’s large salary.
Bilic said his team should have exploited the rifts at Zenit to take all three points in St. Petersburg.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the result,” he said. “We could have made more use of the situation at Zenit.”
After the result, the Railwaymen are level on 20 points with second-placed Anzhi, while Zenit stay fifth.
All other teams in the Russian Premier League have a game in hand and play later this weekend.
Former Croatia coach and West Ham United player Bilic was named Lokomotiv coach in May and took charge after Euro 2012.