'Until it is clear': Guardiola shares what the referee told him before Liverpool v Man City
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

'Until it is clear': Guardiola shares what the referee told him before Liverpool v Man City

Pep Guardiola discussed the referee after Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 at Anfield on Sunday. The Spaniard didn’t like how things went.

Pep Guardiola wasn’t happy with Antony Taylor’s refereeing performance as Manchester City suffered a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday. The bulk of his frustrations surrounded Phil Foden’s disallowed goal.

Foden squeezed the ball into the net but VAR intervened. They saw a foul by Erling Haaland in the buildup – he’d pulled Fabinho down by his shirt. City, however, felt this was overly soft and criticised the decision after the game.

Guardiola was particularly incensed because the referee had promised such fouls wouldn’t be given before the game.

“The referee spoke with my assistant coach Rodolfo [Borrell] and he said we are not going to make fouls until it is clear,” he said, per ManCity.com. “At that stage (when we scored) we had all the momentum and nobody knows what would have happened after.

“In the FA Cup semi-final and the Community Shield it was so soft (the manner of defeat) and it’s a case of if they shout loud, we have to shout louder; if they run, we have to run more, otherwise in this stadium, it’s impossible.”

Pep Guardiola on the referee

The post-match reaction to that incident is bizarre. It was a foul – a clear foul – as you’re not actually allowed to pull players down by their shirts. Physicality? That’s okay. Grabbing a player’s shirt has never been anything but a foul, though.

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Unless, of course, Bernardo Silva is doing it to Mohamed Salah late on. Then it’s not a foul. Apparently.

But you’d think Guardiola saw a red card by the post-match talk. Instead, he saw his team have a goal rightfully disallowed. In fact, it would have been disallowed for a foul on Alisson if not for the Fabinho one. Or how about that the goal-kick it came from should have been a Liverpool corner?

So Guardiola can actually pick his reason for that not being a legitimate goal. He has options.

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