Guardiola details long-running feud with ref he blames for City exit

Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City were on the wrong end of some bad refereeing decisions after his side were dumped out of the Champions League at the hands of Liverpool.

The City manager was sent to the stands for protesting to referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz as City were beaten 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to lose their quarter-final tie 5-1 on aggregate.

City made a superb start to the second leg, scoring early through Gabriel Jesus, but Leroy Sane had another goal incorrectly disallowed for offside after the ball was inadverently played to him by Liverpool’s James Milner.

With Guardiola also believing Raheem Sterling should have had a penalty following a challenge by Andy Robertson, he complained at half-time and was punished by Lahoz.

“I said he was wrong,” said Guardiola when asked about his dismissal. “I didn’t insult him. I just said it was a penalty and it was a goal.

“The ball (for Sane) came from (James) Milner. He said, ‘From Milner it came?’. ‘Yes, from Milner’.

“When it comes from Milner it is not offside, and we go to half-time 2-0. Two-nil against that team is a little bit different.

“In these kind of games, in these competitions, the impact is so big. At Anfield the first goal from (Mohamed) Salah is offside. The goal from Gabriel Jesus in Anfield was a goal, not offside.”

Guardiola has had his run-ins with Lahoz before. The Spanish official angered Guardiola by not giving City a penalty a last-16 clash last season and he also gave Napoli two penalties at the Etihad Stadium earlier in this campaign.

The official has also angered Guardiola from his time in LaLiga in charge of Barcelona and the City boss admitted he feared the worst once he saw Lahoz would be in charge of the match at the Etihad.

“I know him from Spain,” Guardiola said. “I could imagine this happening.”


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