The referee favoured Italy, says Bilic

The 43-year-old did not hide his disappointment with the standard of refereeing following the draw with the Azzurri in Poznan
Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has criticised the performance of referee Howard Webb in his side's 1-1 draw against Italy.

A second-half goal from Mario Mandzukic rescued a point for Croatia after the Azzurri had taken the lead five minutes before the interval through Andrea Pirlo.

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"Many coaches do not like to talk about the referees, but I do not agree with that," Bilic told reporters after the game.

"Perhaps I am not going to be objective, but there was a penalty on Nikica Jelavic, while the foul which preceded Pirlo's free-kick goal did not exist.

"I do not want to stir up controversy, but the referee favoured Italy."

Bilic then hailed the efforts of his players, as the draw leaves his side level on points with Spain ahead of Monday's clash between the two teams.

"We suffered a lot during the first half, but this is something normal when you are playing against Italy," the 43-year-old added.

"We came out strong after the break, when I decided to put Ivan Rakitic out on the wing.

"We started to press and we could have won the match, but I am very satisfied with our display."