Pep Guardiola expressed doubt over the decision to disallow Rúben Dias’s goal, which would have put Manchester City ahead 2-0 against Liverpool. He referenced a previous incident between Newcastle and Arsenal, where a shove by Joelinton on Gabriel was allowed before Anthony Gordon’s winning goal at the beginning of this month.
In the 67th minute, Dias made an attempt that was reminiscent of when Akanji challenged Alisson in the air. Alisson dropped the ball and Dias put it into the net, but the referee, Chris Kavanagh, ruled it out without any involvement from the VAR official.
Following the 1-1 tie at Etihad Stadium, where City was unable to take advantage of several opportunities following Erling Haaland’s goal, Guardiola stated: “After the incident between Newcastle and Arsenal, I am unsure. I did not re-watch it. I had five quick interviews and all of them asked me the same question, so perhaps you observed it more closely than I did.”
Scoring a second goal would have secured a win for City. However, at St James’ Park, Gordon’s goal resulted in a 1-0 victory for Newcastle and led Mikel Arteta to question the fairness of the officiating. As a result, he is now facing a charge from the Football Association.
After the game ended, Guardiola and Darwin Núñez, who had been taken out of the match, got into a disagreement that led to Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp stepping in. However, City’s manager downplayed the incident, stating “Nothing happened.” Guardiola also added that Núñez is stronger than him and that his frustration was not caused by the result, as he is actually content with how the game went.
Klopp downplayed the incident after the match, stating that it was unrelated to the intense rivalry seen on the field. He also mentioned that Darwin Núñez may not have been aware of the confrontation. Klopp, who loves both coaches, attempted to diffuse the situation without fully understanding what had occurred. While Pep is focused on winning, Klopp and his team also have their sights set on victory.
Guardiola commented on the outcome, stating that while the opposing team may be content, his own team is slightly less so. He acknowledged that this is simply the nature of football. Throughout the game, he encouraged City supporters to create a more energetic atmosphere. He expressed his disappointment in the lack of noise from the crowd, especially when playing against Liverpool. He also emphasized the importance of performing well on the field in order to engage and motivate the fans.
Klopp acknowledges that his team faced a significant challenge in coming back to tie the game. “I am not naive,” he stated. “If you were to ask who had a better chance of winning, it would be City, obviously. But for us, it was a test that we passed. Last year, our team was not as experienced and was completely outplayed [resulting in a 4-1 loss] with no chance of winning.”
“Today, we were presented with an opportunity. We aimed to be prepared to put up a strong performance against our opponents. We achieved this goal, however, I observed several performances that left me unsatisfied. I will take note of these and use them as a starting point for improvement.”
Diogo Jota and Alisson both left the game with injuries. “I hope it’s not too serious, but I have no idea what it could be,” stated Klopp regarding his goalkeeper. “He said he only felt a slight discomfort, but we will have to wait for the results of the scan.”