Pep Guardiola said he will not follow Mikel Arteta in criticising the officials after late controversy in Manchester City’s 3-3 draw with Tottenham.
A chaotic clash at the Etihad saw Dejan Kulusevski score a late equaliser to earn Spurs a point, but City were denied a goalscoring chance to win it by referee Simon Hooper. The official failed to play advantage after a foul on Erling Haaland, despite City breaking clear and racing in on goal.
The decision sparked furious full-time scenes from the Citizens, with Haaland restrained by his teammates before heading down the tunnel.
On the incident, Guardiola said he will not follow the example of Arsenal manager Arteta, who blasted the officials after his side’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle last month.
“Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment,” Guardiola 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.
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) December 3, 2023
“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.”
Son Heung-min had fired Spurs into an early lead in the contest, before an own goal from the Spurs captain levelled the game moments later.
Phil Foden put Manchester City ahead with a well worked goal, but Giovani Lo Celso’s goal levelled for a spirited Spurs. Jack Grealish scored City’s third, before a dramatic finale saw Kulusevski power home a header and the controversial call from referee Hooper.
On his side failing to kill off the game with missed chances, Guardiola added: “That’s football sometimes. In any sport it is about statistics, and when a team has better statistics, 10 times out of 10 they win. In football this is not the case.
“Last week the same happened to Spurs. They were the better team against Aston Villa but they lost. So football can be like this sometimes. To score four at Stamford Bridge and draw, to be better against Liverpool and draw, and today we were also not able to win. We need to forget this and move on to the next one and continue.”