Why Jack Grealish was not allowed to play on and score for Man City vs Tottenham

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Tottenham news as Manchester City attacker Jack Grealish was denied the chance to potentially win the game following a controversial call by referee Simon Hooper

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City were involved in a Premier League thriller at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday as Dejan Kulusevski’s 90th minute equaliser rescued a point for Ange Postecoglou’s side in a 3-3 draw.

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Spurs started the contest in perfect fashion when Son Heung-min completed a perfect counter-attack to net his ninth Premier League goal of the season. Spurs’ captain then put the ball into his own net before Phil Foden put the hosts ahead.

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Giovani Lo Celso levelled in the 69th minute with a well-taken strike after City started the second half slowly. Substitute Jack Grealish had looked like he had handed the champions all three points when he converted from close range but Kulusevski’s back-post header ended Tottenham’s losing streak.

However, the outcome of the game could have been so different. As City chased a winner in injury-time, Grealish was denied the opportunity to double his tally courtesy of referee Simon Hooper.

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Erling Haaland was fouled by Emerson Royal on the halfway line as the Brazilian attempted to halt City’s counter. Haaland played on with the clock ticking down and played a ball over the top of Tottenham’s defence – putting Grealish through.

Hooper, who had originally allowed the play to go on, pulled the play back to award a free-kick, frustrating the City players and Haaland. The striker was booked before appearing to scream “F*** off! F*** off!”

It’s unclear why Hooper decided to bring play back when Grealish was through on goal. In terms of FA rules, Hooper didn’t do anything wrong.

However, FA rules state that advantage should only not be given when incidents involve serious foul play, violent conduct or a second cautionable offence ‘unless there is a clear opportunity to score the goal’. It’s likely the referee didn’t deem Grealish’s chance to be that.

After the human error, Guardiola refused to criticise the referee in his post-match press conference. “I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment,” he said. “It is hard (to explain) when you review the image. The referee decides to blow the whistle after he has already said to play.”

He added: “Erling’s reaction was the same as the other ten players. The rules are you cannot talk with the referees or fourth officials so we should have had ten players sent off.

“He’s a little bit disappointed. Even the referee – if he played for Man City today he would be disappointed for that action.pll

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