Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted that it is better not to talk about the referees in the Champions League, as decisions in the first-leg of his side's quarter-final tie raised a lot of eyebrows worldwide.
In a competition where poor and controversial refereeing has caused a lot of trouble to the Blues over the years, Manchester City fans were met with an unknown feeling when decisions went in their favour and that ‘much needed luck’ finally found it’s way over to the Etihad Stadium.
Referee Ovidiu Hategan upset a lot of Borussia Dortmund fans with his decisions at the Etihad on Tuesday night.
Manchester City were awarded a penalty soon after scoring their opening goal due to a foul on midfielder Rodri, but it was later overturned after VAR stepped in. Later in the game, Jude Bellingham slotted the ball past City's goalkeeper Ederson, but referee Hategan was quick to blow the whistle for a foul on the Brazilian stopper - an incorrect decision, which was - and luckily for City - out of VAR’s jurisdiction.
The Catalan manager, in his own astute manner, was quick to use this opportunity to give it back to anyone who has over the years benefited as a result of poor refereeing against Manchester City.
Guardiola said, “It's better not talk about the referees in the Champions League. We have a huge list of this kind of situation in this competition. It’s better not to comment on how the referee played.”
"The game was not a problem. it was a penalty then the VAR said it was no penalty. After, with the Bellingham action the leg is higher than expected so the referees and the linesmen were perfect. They were not an influence like they were in the past. It was perfect", the Manchester City manager said.
From saying it’s better not to comment on the referee, to saying they were perfect; Pep Guardiola was clever in conveying his honest opinions to the press.
The manager once again insisted that the referees were brilliant, when asked about an assistant referee who asked for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland's autograph in the Etihad Stadium tunnel.
Guardiola said, "Maybe he’s a fan and he's here. Why not? The referees were brilliant.”
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