West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini says Bernardo Silva "threw himself down" to earn the penalty that proved decisive in his side's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday.
Sergio Aguero converted from the penalty spot just before the hour mark to open the scoring at the Etihad Stadium and it proved enough to seal the three points for the Premier League champions, ensuring they remain a point behind leaders Liverpool.
The spot kick was awarded when Silva went down after Felipe Anderson bundled into the back of him inside the box, but Pellegrini says the Portuguese winger conned the referee.
"I’m not happy with the result because it was not a penalty,” he told the BBC Sport's Match of the Day.
“Bernardo Silva threw himself down when he felt a touch. [Manuel] Lanzini had the same thing but didn’t go down, so the referee didn’t whistle."
The decision made the defeat difficult for Pellegrini to take as he felt his side held their own against the title holders.
“Soft is being a little generous," he continued in his press conference.
“It was a play that happens a lot of times inside the box. In the other box, Lanzini had exactly the same and he didn’t throw [himself] to the floor.
“If we had lost this game with another action then maybe we could accept it, but not that penalty.
“The first save of Fabianski was minute 61. After that they had a couple of chances. If you lose the game with those options maybe you can accept it more.”
He added: "We nearly went ahead with Andy Carroll – it was the first clear opportunity that we had and maybe it was the most clear opportunity in the game up to that moment, but the penalty was decisive.
“I feel that we lost with a penalty that was not a penalty, and in the other box also if Lanzini goes to the floor, maybe he can whistle [there too].
“They had other chances after that but I am not happy with the way that we lost the game.”