Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has refused to comment on Simon Hooper’s controversial decision late in Manchester City’s 3-all draw with Tottenham. The referee had appeared to play advantage after Erling Haaland was fouled before he played Jack Grealish through on goal. But the referee called play back in a move which cost City the chance to win the game.
Speaking after the game the City manager refused to be drawn into comment on the incident. He told the media: “I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment. 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.” The City manager was referring to Mikel Arteta’s outburst after Arsenal were controversially beaten 1-nil by Newcastle.
Pep Guardiola also refused to blame the referee for costing his side three points. He added that it was an error by Simon Hooper. Pep added: “I make mistakes, the players make mistakes. I don’t want to criticise him.”
Guardiola also defended striker Erling Haaland for his reaction post-game. City’s number 9 may be in hot water with the FA for a post on his X (Twitter) account post-game. Guardiola said: “His reaction was the same for 10 players. The rules are you cannot talk with the referees or fourth officials so we should have had 10 players sent off today. He’s a little bit disappointed.”
Manchester City will have to rebound quickly from the disappointment they suffered against Tottenham. They next travel to Villa Park to face Unai Emery’s high-flying Aston Villa side on Wednesday night. The game will see third take on fourth in the Premier League table.