Haaland was furious as he left the pitch. He went into the dressing room, and pressed send on a (perhaps ill-advised) tweet criticising the decision, and said he was still angry come Monday lunchtime in a follow-up. Guardiola wisely sidestepped the subject after the game to avoid a fine and Haaland escaped without punishment of his own later on Monday for his &aposwtf&apos post.
Guardiola preferred to comment on where City can improve, as did Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and Josko Gvardiol. The common theme – cut out the individual errors and be more clinical.
As a selection of players exited the Etihad on Sunday through the mixed zone, nobody elected to speak to the media, all sharing the same stony-faced expression after a third league game where they dropped points in succession.
Those who did speak, including captains Dias and Bernardo, put the onus on the City players to get better to return to winning ways, with Bernardo echoing his manager in saying that Hooper&aposs baffling refereeing decision was not the reason for City not seeing out the win.
Bernardo&aposs criticism was particularly stark. Individually, we need to look at ourselves and do better,” he said. “Score our chances because we had so many. If we want to win games, we cannot concede three or four goals every game we need to defend well as a team. Everyone needs to do better.”
As City face a charge for failing to control their players after Hooper&aposs decision, that anger appears to be channelled into a positive determination to improve things after four under-par performances. Guardiola knows what must be done, and so do his captains. Even Haaland looked to take some down time on Monday with family judging by his relaxed Instagram post.
Haaland should turn his frustration from Sunday into converting the chances he&aposs been missing of late, and the Spurs chaos could be the wake-up call he needs. Last season, Guardiola used a dramatic comeback win over Spurs at the Etihad to launch an astonishing attack on his players, bosses and supporters to criticise their complacency and sharpen up their mentality, which went on to fuel the treble success.