Pep Guardiola has admitted he feels that referees should clamp down on aggressive play to provide more protection to players, following a feisty affair against Tottenham at the Etihad last weekend.
Sky Sports have reported that the Catalan manager has become particularly angered with officials recently, due to some very questionable tackles from both Harry Kane and Dele Alli. The the respective instances, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne very narrowly escaped injury.
However, the former Barcelona midfielder was quick to mention that it's not only his side that have been victims of aggressive play. Guardiola highlighted that Manchester City defender, Nicolas Otamendi, kicked Harry Kane in the face during the fixture.
"I don't believe players go to injure another one, it is impossible to think that, but the football is quick, fast and aggressive, and the refs have to follow the rules," the former Bayern Munich manager said in an interview.
Pep highlighted the importance of the refs following the rules within a recent press conference and even compared aggressive play to diving - suggesting that combating aggressive play should take more of a priority over simulation.
Guardiola added: "Everybody is squealing about diving here. If they want to punish those who are diving, it's OK, but the main thing the ref has to do is to protect the players."
Manchester City are currently still unbeaten as they approach the New Year and will look to extend this run as they take on Bournemouth this weekend.