Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Pep Guardiola slams referee with ‘this is Anfield’ jibe; admits Man City were downed by ‘clinical’ Liverpool

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola called Liverpool ‘clinical’ and ‘so good’ after Manchester City’s defeat to the Reds, though he also blasted referee Anthony Taylor for disallowing a City goal.

Manchester City were looking to extend their three-match winning run in the Premier League when they travelled to Anfield. And they were favourites to pick up all three points due to Liverpool’s weakened side, which has been caused by several injuries.

Manchester City found Erling Haaland a couple of times in the first half. However, the striker could rarely get away from Virgil van Dijk and even when he did Alisson was there to thwart him.

The first big chance of the match actually fell to Mo Salah early in the second half. Roberto Firmino sent him in behind the City defence and he raced at goal before shooting. But Ederson did brilliantly to send Salah’s effort just wide of the post.

Phil Foden had the ball in the back of the Liverpool net three minutes later. Haaland prevented Alisson from gathering the ball and Foden capitalised by sending a shot at goal, which went in via Joe Gomez.

However, much to the anger of Guardiola, the goal was ruled out for Haaland’s foul on Fabinho shortly before.

Salah gave Liverpool the lead in the 76th minute after Alisson played a long ball up to him. Joao Cancelo was the only man back and he couldn’t handle the winger. Salah sprinted towards goal and this time managed to beat Ederson.

Liverpool defended valiantly to keep hold of their advantage and they were ultimately the winners on Merseyside.

Pep Guardiola praises Liverpool for being ‘so clinical’ and ‘so good’

During a post-match interview with BBC Match of the Day (via BBC Sport), Guardiola said: “We did everything, we played really well and created chances. Most of the time we were really good but we made a mistake. They were so clinical and so good.”

Guardiola then suggested that Taylor ruled out Foden’s goal due to the game being held at Liverpool’s ground.

“This is Anfield, in the Champions League three or four years ago, and we come here most of the time it happens,” the Spaniard said.

“We have to make a perfect game and we didn’t, we made a mistake, hopefully in the future we can learn but teams like this, [competing] in the Champions League, it is so tight and they punish you.

“The referee says play on, play on, play on, how many thousand million fouls he has almost given? But the goal was not given.

“That is the question, so when the referee decides to speak to the managers, to Jurgen Klopp, to my assistant coach and say ‘I am going to be clear, it happens all the time in that way,’ then you cannot disallow the goal. But if you decide in the first minute fault, fault, fault… But you know, this is Anfield.”

Bernardo Silva confused by Anthony Taylor refereeing

City midfielder Bernardo Silva was similarly angry about the way Foden’s goal was treated.

“What we expect from the referees is consistency in the decisions,” he said after the defeat. “When you go through a path of not whistling little contacts throughout the whole game, you need to keep those decisions and keep going that way.

“If you want to whistle all of them, whistle all of them. But if from the beginning of the game you’re not whistling little fouls – he was letting us play, which is good – then if there is a goal you cannot whistle that soft one.

“If you want consistency from the referee you cannot change just because it’s a goal. Or because it’s a tough decision. You have to make the tough decision and keep the goal in my opinion.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has explained how Liverpool got the better of City, in a game which Roy Keane believes could be a ‘turning point’ for the Reds.