City were incensed when referee Simon Hooper initially played advantage after Erling Haaland was fouled by Emerson Royal. The striker kept possession only for the official to blow his whistle after Haaland had played in Jack Grealish through on goal. Haaland was booked for his protests and posted “Wtf” after the game on social media, while his teammates were also fuming.
Guardiola admitted he struggled to understand the decision but refused to criticise the referee, referencing former assistant Mikel Arteta&aposs rant after Arsenal lost 1-0 to Newcastle with a debatable goal given against them. “Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment,” he said to Sky Sports.
“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.”
Guardiola expanded on his thoughts in his press conference with written media after the game, pointing out that players and managers also make mistakes and that the decision was not the reason for City not winning the game.
“It&aposs an action. The game was really good from both sides, we played fantastic in the first half and the second they made a step forward,” he said.
“In everything, we were really good but much better in the first half where we could have scored more. It&aposs football, we have to manage better. I makes mistakes, the players make mistakes.
“It surprised me because when Erling went down if you whistle then it&aposs fine but when he stands up and continues and the ref made the gesture to play on, then after he makes the pass he stops the game.