Hearts manager Craig Levein has accused Derek McInnes of double standards and talking “tripe” after his Aberdeen counterpart claimed he was “always looking for penalties”.
Levein claimed McInnes was recently “crying his eyes out” about decisions which went against the Dons.
Levein felt his team should have had two spot-kicks during a 2-0 defeat at Pittodrie on Saturday, when Steven Naismith was hauled down and Peter Haring was bundled off the ball.
However, Aberdeen got the only penalty award after referee John Beaton saw a pull on Scott McKenna and McInnes argued the better team won, claiming he didn’t know what Levein was talking about.
But Levein is unrepentant and accused McInnes of trying to get Naismith sent off before he was booked following a tangle with Lewis Ferguson.
Levein said: “Goals change games and that game on Saturday was changed – three different penalty incidents, two went against us and one went for Aberdeen.
“And I have to laugh when I listen to Derek having a pop. This is the same Derek McInnes that was on the phone to me three weeks ago crying his eyes out about the decisions that he got in the Celtic game, and the sending-off he got against Rangers. So I have to laugh. Double standards all day long.
“And he even said to me – this is funny – that he stopped complaining about referees because he felt that he got more decisions going for him if he didn’t complain.
“So, listen I have got to laugh. I have got articles where he has complained four or five times about officials already this season. He forgets that.
“He also tried to get Steven Naismith sent off, which I will remember as well.
I don’t think there was anything in it and I don’t think anyone I have spoken to did. But Derek tried to get him sent off. I saw him.
“Listen, I have got respect for every manager in the league but when he comes out with the tripe he comes out with after the game on Saturday, then I get annoyed.
“I have had a good relationship with Derek but when he starts all that nonsense, I don’t think that’s going to last much longer.”
Levein faces a Scottish Football Association disciplinary hearing on January 7 for criticism of match officials but he insists he has to stand up for his team and point out significant errors.
“I asked why we didn’t get two penalties and why they got a penalty,” Levein said. “And John (Beaton) was good, he spoke to me and said he didn’t see the incidents.
“But I could see it from the dugout. I accept he is maybe looking in another direction but there are other officials. The fourth official is standing beside me, and the linesman was standing beside me, and they could see what I see.
“The Haring one, the player jumped in deliberately to put him off. So it’s a certain penalty. And people say stop complaining because it just makes it worse for Hearts. Why should we make it worse for Hearts?
“If I am pointing things out that are obvious errors, in any other business people would look into it and try to make it better. That’s not what happens. They just hope it goes away.
“There’s been enough this season for me to be angry about what’s happened, and if it keeps happening I will continue complaining about it, because I think that’s the right thing to do.
“All I am asking for is a bit of fairness and equality, and I don’t think that’s wrong.”