Pep Guardiola questions decision to deny Manchester City second goal


Pep Guardiola questioned the disallowing of Rúben Dias’s goal that would have given Manchester City a 2-0 lead over Liverpool by referring to the controversial “Newcastle-Arsenal action” when a Joelinton shove on Gabriel was allowed before Anthony Gordon’s winner at the start of this month.

Dias’s 67th-minute attempt featured a similar moment when Manuel Akanji rose to challenge Alisson, who dropped the ball and the Portuguese put it into the net only to see the goal ruled out by the referee, Chris Kavanagh, with no intervention by the VAR official.

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In the aftermath of the 1-1 draw at the Etihad, during which City failed to capitalise on a number of chances after Erling Haaland’s goal, Guardiola said: “After the Newcastle-Arsenal action, I don’t know. I didn’t watch it [again]. I had five flash interviews and all of them asked me the same question, so maybe you watched it better than me.”

A second goal would have put City on course for three points. At St James’ Park, Gordon’s goal earned a 1-0 Newcastle victory and caused Mikel Arteta to question the officiating; he now faces a Football Association charge.

At the final whistle Guardiola and Darwin Núñez, who had been substituted, were involved in a spat that caused the Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, to intervene, but City’s manager played down the incident. “Nothing happened,” shrugged Guardiola. “He’s stronger than me. It’s not frustration [at the result]. I’m really pleased.”

Klopp also played down the post-match confrontation, saying: “That is nothing to do with the fierce rivalry which you see on the pitch. I don’t think Darwin Núñez knows anything about it. Just emotions. I am not involved, surprisingly, but I love them both so I just tried to calm it down without knowing 100% what happened and not understanding a word. Pep wants to win, we want to win.”

Of the result, Guardiola said: “They are happy, we are a little less happy, they are more happy but it’s football.” During the match he urged City fans to lift the atmosphere. “It’s 12.30, we were still in the sheets, sleeping. I like noise against Liverpool but it didn’t happen. When it doesn’t happen, you have to play better to make the crowd follow us,” he said.

Klopp believes his side passed an important test coming back to draw. “I am not silly,” he said. “If you ask who was more likely to win the game it was City, obviously. For us it passed a test. Last year we had a team that played long together and got completely under the wheels here [losing 4-1] and had no chance.

“Today we had a chance. We want to be ready to give them a proper game. We did. [But] I saw a lot of performances I was not overly happy with. I take what we get and work from here.”

Diogo Jota and Alisson ended the game as injury concerns. “I hope it is not that serious but I have not clue what it is,” Klopp said of his keeper “He said he only felt a little bit but we have to wait for the scan.”

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