Guardiola pulls Wenger’s line as Man City boss hides fury at VAR farce

Copenhagen v Man City: Pictures

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claimed that he did not see why Rodri had a goal against FC Copenhagen on Tuesday night in the Champions League. The Spanish boss looked furious with the decision at the time but was not willing to discuss the matter after the full-time whistle had sounded.

City were held to a 0-0 draw away in Denmark, the first time that they failed to register a goal this season. Though Guardiola’s side certainly wasn’t short of opportunities, with opposition shot-stopper Kamil Grabara making several top-quality saves to earn his side a point.

The Etihad Stadium outfit thought that they had broken the deadlock after 11 minutes though through Rodri after he thundered a strike into the top corner from on the edge of the penalty area. However, after a lengthy VAR review, it was ruled that Riyad Mahrez had handled the ball in the build-up to the goal, with the ball striking his arm during a penalty area scramble.

Asked about the controversial decision, which many pundits disagreed with, the former Barcelona boss said: “I didn’t see it, no. I didn’t see the actions on TV about the hands.”

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The reporter then questioned why Guardiola had such an extended chat with the fourth official after VAR had intervened but the City boss batted the question again once again. The 51-year-old has often been dragged into heated conversations about controversial decisions in his post-match press conferences but seems to have decided to take a page out of the book of Arsene Wenger.

The former Arsenal manager would often claim that ‘he did not see it’ when his team were on the receiving end of a strange refereeing decision, refusing to get drawn into criticising officials at a time when VAR was not in action.

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City had another opportunity to take the lead against Copenhagen after being awarded a penalty after it was ruled that Nicolai Boilesen had handled the ball inside the penalty area. But Mahrez was not able to punish the mistake, missing his ninth penalty out of 31 taken.

And to make matters worse for the Premier League side, just five minutes later they were reduced to ten men after Sergio Gomez’s professional foul, as the last man, on 19-year-old Hakon Haralsson prevented the teenager from having a clear shot at Ederson’s goal.

Guardiola attempted to roll the dice by bringing on Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva in the second half but neither were able to book City’s spot in the last 16 of the competition – Erling Haaland remained an unused substitute on the night.

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