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Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, stated that he would not make a comment similar to Mikel Arteta’s about referees after his team’s disputed 3-3 tie with Tottenham. This seemed to be a jab at his former assistant and current Arsenal manager.
Arteta faced charges from the Football Association in the previous month for his negative remarks towards Premier League referees and the use of VAR. Following a loss of 1-0 to Newcastle, Arteta expressed his disappointment with the decision to award Anthony Gordon’s goal, calling it an “outrageous” and “shameful” call.
However, Guardiola stated that he would not follow the same course of action, after his team was prevented from executing a late counter-attack in their match against Tottenham. Referee Simon Hooper chose to stop play and award a foul on striker Erling Haaland, despite Jack Grealish being in a promising position to score.
The team from the city expressed anger over the ruling, which was made after Dejan Kulusevski scored a late goal to tie the game. Despite Guardiola’s claim of not comprehending the decision to resume play, the manager declined to elaborate further.
When questioned about the occurrence, he responded with: “Next inquiry. I will refrain from making a Mikel Arteta remark.”
“It can be difficult when, upon reviewing the image, the referee chooses to blow the whistle after initially signaling to continue playing. The whistle is blown after the pass, which I find confusing.”
The most crucial aspect was that it was a great game. Unfortunately, similar to the Liverpool match, I had the same feeling that today we put on an exceptional display in every area, against a formidable team and manager and their style of play.
We generated numerous opportunities, displayed aggression, extreme focus, and the impression is that we are still determined to maintain our position at the top of the standings.
“It’s unfortunate. Football can be like life in that you don’t always receive what you rightfully deserve.”
The city was looking to take advantage of Jack Grealish’s forward position against a small number of Tottenham defenders who were trying to catch up.
Haaland had to be held back after the game ended due to his involvement in the protests. Despite being tripped by Tottenham’s Emerson Royal during a counterattack, the City forward managed to stay upright and pass the ball to Grealish for a scoring opportunity.
However, referee Hooper called the play back due to a foul that occurred within the City half. After the game, Haaland reacted to a video of the incident on social media with the comment “Wtf”.
During a Sky Sports broadcast, ex-Manchester United leader Roy Keane stated that the referee had committed an error, while former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher claimed that Hooper had acted hastily by stopping play.
Former player for Manchester City, Micah Richards, expressed his confusion over the referee’s decision during the game. Richards believed that the referee had been doing a great job until this specific moment, where he blew the whistle and initially signaled for an advantage, but then abruptly stopped the play. Richards was perplexed as to why the play was stopped when player Jack Grealish was clearly in a good position to continue.
The team from the city consistently missed opportunities during the game, despite Haaland having a clear shot at goal and Jeremy Doku and Julian Alvaraz hitting the goal post. In the 90th minute, Kulusevski’s header saved Tottenham from a loss at the Etihad and broke their streak of three consecutive defeats in the Premier League under manager Ange Postecoglou.
Kulusevski’s impressive jump prevented City from securing a win in a thrilling match. This also marks the third consecutive game in which Pep Guardiola’s team has failed to earn all three points, after drawing against Chelsea and Liverpool.
Tottenham, plagued by injuries, scored first with a well-executed counter-attack by Son Heung-min. However, just two minutes later, their captain accidentally scored an own goal from a free-kick.
Postecoglou’s team remained committed to their aggressive and offensive strategy, despite facing numerous injuries. City had multiple opportunities to widen the lead as they consistently dismantled the opposing team, resulting in Phil Foden scoring the first goal after 30 minutes.
Despite City’s dominance, they were unable to capitalize and Spurs managed to secure a well-deserved tie in the second half thanks to Giovani Lo Celso’s curled shot.
City rallied in the last moments and Grealish capitalized on a careless pass from Tottenham’s Yves Bissouma to reclaim their advantage. Kulusevski’s stunning header sealed the victory.