“Arteta is happy now, isn’t he”- Man City Boss Pep Guardiola calls out Mikel Arteta after controversial referee decision hurts Man City and costs them a win against Spurs last night
Pep Guardiola found himself in the midst of post-match scrutiny as he addressed a contentious referee decision that adversely impacted Manchester City’s fortunes against Tottenham. In the aftermath of a pulsating encounter that ended in a 3-3 draw, Guardiola refrained from overtly criticizing his former assistant, Mikel Arteta, but expressed his discontent with the referee’s call that denied City a potential late victory.
During the fourth minute of extra time, with the score leveled, City aggressively surged forward in pursuit of a decisive goal. Jack Grealish, breaking free on goal, found himself in a promising position, only for the referee to halt play and award a free-kick due to a foul on Erling Haaland in the midfield. The decision prompted a vehement protest from City’s players, who surrounded referee Simon Hooper in disagreement.
Guardiola, initially evasive about his thoughts on the incident, quipped, “Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment.” However, he eventually elaborated on the matter, expressing his bewilderment at the referee’s timing in blowing the whistle after initially signaling to play on. In his analysis, Guardiola remarked, “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.”
Despite the late controversy and City’s third consecutive draw in the Premier League, Guardiola acknowledged the overall quality of the game. He highlighted the team’s exceptional performance across various departments against a formidable opponent managed by Arteta. Reflecting on the match, Guardiola remarked, “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.”
In essence, Guardiola’s comments underscored the frustration over the controversial referee decision while emphasizing his team’s positive aspects in a game that showcased their prowess against a top-tier opponent.