Pep Guardiola has defended Sergio Aguero after he was criticised for putting his arm on the shoulder of assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis during Man City’s win over Arsenal.
After arguing his case with Massey-Ellis, Aguero then put his arm around her shoulder as she began to walk away.
Those actions drew attention on social media and also led his former team-mate Micah Richards to claim that Aguero should “know better”.
Under rules introduced in 2016 players can be cautioned or sent off for touching match officials, depending on the nature of the incident. But Aguero’s actions went unpunished.
In his post-match press conference, Guardiola said: “Come on guys. Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life.
“Look for problems in other situations, not in this one.”
Aguero played 65 minutes of his comeback before being replaced and played a part in the only goal of the game for Raheem Sterling in the 23rd minute.
Injury updates; Dias compared to Kompany
Pep Guardiola provided injury updates on a pair of defenders, and said it will be a “big mistake” to compare new signing Ruben Dias to club legend Vincent Kompany.
Man City rode out 1-0 winners to secure a vital three points versus Arsenal.
The win took on greater significance after Liverpool had earlier dropped points, a fact not lost on Guardiola.
“It was an important victory,” said the Spaniard. “The clean sheet was important. They fought and had the desire to win and try to do it.
“We knew it would be a tight game, a difficult one, but for us winning games is important for the confidence and mentality.
On the injury front, Guardiola provided updates on a pair of defenders.
“Benjamin Mendy will be three or four weeks,” he added. “Aymeric Laporte we expect back sooner. Maybe one week, ten days.”
Ruben Dias performed admirably as City strode to a clean sheet. But Guardiola was reluctant to make comparisons between he and club legend Vincent Kompany.
“It will be a big mistake to compare Ruben Dias to Vincent. Vincent is unique. Ruben is young.
“He’s a type of leader. He will lead the team. He is just 23 years old. We cannot forget he plays for Portugal. We are delighted with what we have seen.”