Guardiola comments on VAR saga after comeback win against Schalke

Date published: Wednesday 20th February 2019 10:40

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola threw his support behind the controversial VAR decisions that went against Manchester City in their 3-2 win over Schalke.

The visitors dominated the early stages, and Sergio Aguero soon made it 1-0 when David Silva pinched the ball from the daydreaming Schalke defence to tee-up the Argentine for a tap in.

The game would take a dramatic turn just before the break. After the referee had originally signalled for a Schalke corner, a near three-minute VAR discussion resulted in a penalty for the hosts after Nicolas Otamendi was judged to have blocked the shot with his arm.

Nabil Bentaleb stepped up and sent Ederson the wrong way to make it 1-1.

Things would get worse for City when the hosts were given another spot-kick after Fernandinho pushed Salif Sane to the ground from a free-kick.

Bentaleb stepped up again and the same result followed, as the hosts went into the break 2-1 up.

Things deteriorated further for the visitors when Otamendi received a second yellow 68 minutes in for bringing down Schalke sub Guido Burgstaller near halfway.

But it always seemed there would be a twist in the tale, and it arrived when former Schalke man Leroy Sane stepped off the bench to whip a delightful free-kick into the top corner.

And the comeback was soon complete as a long-ball from Ederson found Raheem Sterling who shrugged off his marker and provided a cool finish to make it 3-2.

Despite being hit with two controversial penalties, Guardiola said he agreed with the decisions and is a big fan of VAR.

He told BT Sport: “We played good. But still we lost some easy balls which we are not allowed to do in this competition.

“Were they penalties? I think so, they are two penalties, I trust VAR. I have arguments sometimes but not this time. They are both penalties.

“It was a great result. We gave them two penalties, we gave them a red card and in this competition that is not too good. We are still not ready to fight for the later stages. but the result is good.”

The Spaniard did say however, that the tie is far from over with his side giving Schalke two goals for which they did “absolutely nothing” to earn.

“We played with incredible personality. We gave two goals when they did absolutely nothing,” he explained.

“It is not over, this competition is completely different.”


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