Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists he is still a supporter of video assistant referees (VAR) despite his side’s dramatic exit from the Champions League at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
Guardiola’s City trailed 1-0 from the first leg and traded goal for goal in a European classic that will live long in the memory for its dramatic moments – a couple of which involved technology.
Fernando Llorente was the beneficiary of the first, with the officials deeming a crossed ball to have found the back of the net via the Spanish striker’s hip, despite calls for a hand ball.
City would be stung a second time, however, when Raheem Sterling’s would-be winner was chalked off due to a controversial offside call.
But despite that painful exit signalling the end of his team’s quadruple dreams, Guardiola remains a backer of VAR.
“It hurts what happened, it was tough,” the Catalan boss told a press conference on Friday.
“The referee is a human being and can make a mistake like everybody else.
“VAR appeared to help try and cut out mistakes. The referees can take time, seconds, minutes to see the images and different angles.
“If we make a lot of mistakes with VAR then I wouldn’t agree with it. We have to take one minute, two minutes, five minutes, until the right decision is made.
“But I support it, from the first time and well before.
“If the goal from Raheem in the last minute, which was offside, ends up being a goal and Tottenham go out because of one offside, is not right. It’s so tough on them and I don’t like that.
“We made it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup because of one goal from offside from Sergio [Aguero] in the Swansea game.
“That’s not nice for Swansea. We played so good, we created chances and we won and went to the semi-finals against Brighton with one goal that wasn’t regular – it’s offside.
“So that’s why I support VAR a lot, to be fair. That is what it is. Other managers didn’t agree with VAR but maybe they will now.”