Pep Guardiola opted not to engage in a tirade similar to Mikel Arteta’s after the controversial conclusion to Manchester City’s 3-3 draw with Tottenham.
Man City’s players and staff expressed frustration with referee Simon Hooper, who opted to call back play for a free-kick instead of allowing the advantage. The whistle was blown just as Jack Grealish was set through on goal by Erling Haaland, depriving City of an opportunity to secure a late victory.
Asked about the late controversy by Sky Sports, Guardiola was reluctant to answer, saying: “Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment.”
He continued: “It is hard when you review the image, the referee decides to blow the whistle after he has already said to play on. After the pass, the whistle, so I do not understand this action. It was a good game, that is the most important thing. It was a pity, same as the Liverpool game, I had the feeling that today that we made an incredible performance in all departments, against a really good team and manager and how they play. We created a lot of chances, we were aggressive, incredibly concentrated, and the feeling is that we still want to be there [at the top of the table]. It is a pity. Sometimes football is like life, you do not get what you deserve.”
Guardiola won’t do ‘an Arteta comment’!
Guardiola referred to Arsenal coach Arteta’s infamous rant against officials following his team’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle in early November.
The Gunners boss felt Newcastle’s winning goal should have been disallowed, saying: “Embarrassing what happened – how this goal stands, in the Premier League – this league we say is the best in the world. I’ve been 20 years in this country and now I feel ashamed. It’s a disgrace and there’s too much at stake here.”
Guardiola later told BBC Match of the Day: “Sometimes I lose my mind about the referees, but here no. Always people can make mistakes. It surprised me for the fact that he went to whistle when Erling went down, after he stood back up and made the pass so the referee made the gesture to play on. But then when the ball goes to Jack, then the whistle. That makes you think [gasps and says ‘argh’]. If in the right moment when Erling went down he whistled then you say: ‘Ok’, but whistling after saying play on… I don’t know. It was a good game, everyone enjoyed it. Spurs are so happy, we are less so. Next on to Villa Park for the next game and to go again.”