Roberto Mancini insisted his pain at Manchester City's Carling Cup semi-final exit was not made more acute because Craig Bellamy scored the decisive goal.
After spending a year on loan at hometown club Cardiff, Bellamy finally cut his ties with City last summer, joining boyhood idols Liverpool for a second stint.
That those two clubs will now meet at Wembley on 26 February is a dream for Bellamy. Not so Mancini, whose personal relationship with the fiery Welshman disintegrated over a clear difference of opinion over how his fragile knees should be treated.
Yet Mancini shook hands with Bellamy before the game and the Italian insisted he was happy for the 32-year-old.
"What do you want me to say to that?" said Mancini, about the irony of Bellamy's goal.
"I am disappointed because I didn't get to the final. What changes if Bellamy scores, or Gerrard or Carroll?
"I am happy with the players I have got. Bellamy scored. I am also happy for him."
It was just about the only thing Mancini was happy about as his team once again came unstuck thanks to refereeing decisions he felt were completely wrong.
First Mancini felt Phil Dowd should have awarded a penalty for Charlie Adam's tackle on Edin Dzeko.
Then, after Nigel de Jong's brilliant curling effort had put City in front, Dowd did award a spot-kick for handball against Micah Richards when Daniel Agger's shot struck the visitors' skipper on the leg, then flew up on to his arm.
"It hit his leg before his arm," said Mancini, before addressing Dowd's clear indication that Richards had made the initial block with his arms raised.
"He could cut his arm off.
"It is my opinion. I didn't think it was a penalty."
Richards also expressed his unhappiness at the decision, saying on his Twitter account: "Not happy! How can I stop it hitting my hand if it hits my foot first!
Mancini also felt Adam should have been punished.
"If you watch the game, it was a penalty on Dzeko by Adam."
All this, and Mario Balotelli as well.
Mancini feels referee Howard Webb changed his mind over the Italian's stamp on Tottenham`s Scott Parker, robbing him of the forward for last night's game as well as clashes with Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa.
"I hope tomorrow they can change tonight's result because they decided about Mario after the game," said Mancini.
"The referee was there, 10 metres from the tackle. He could have sent Mario off at that moment, not after the game because he watched the video.
"That is easy. I can be a referee in the next game.
"He (Webb) can't say he didn't see it. He saw everything.
"Now it is finished and Mario can do nothing. We lost Vinny (Kompany) for four games for nothing and now we are without Mario."