Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola bemoaned a lack of consistency after VAR denied his side a last-gasp winner against Tottenham. The Premier League champions had to settle for a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium after Gabriel Jesus’ injury-time strike was disallowed on review for a handball by Aymeric Laporte.
Under this season’s clarified handball rules, the decision was correct. However, Guardiola has not forgotten that Spurs’ Fernando Llorente was awarded a goal against City despite it hitting his arm in the Champions League last season.
Guardiola was quick to point out that he had no issues with the decision to rule out Jesus’ strike, but says there needs to be consistency going forward. “If it’s hands but why was (it) not hands with Llorente last season and why is it hands today?” Guardiola said. “But always we have to live with the decision in these situations. It is what it is, accept it. It will make us stronger.”
City twice led with Kevin De Bruyne crossing for Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero to score but Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura both levelled for Spurs.
They also completely dominated, racking up 30 shots compared to Tottenham’s three, and Pochettino says not much more could have been done by his side to take the win. “We played better today than the second best team in Europe. When people say you can do better – better than this I don’t know if it is possible,” he added.
“We conceded just two shots on target against this team, with the quality they have. We created a lot to score goals. We played incredibly, (one of) the best games in our time together. We were so good. Unfortunately we could not win but we will prepare for the next. It is just the beginning.”
Speaking after the game, Guardiola was also quick to play down an incident between himself and Sergio Aguero on the touchline after the Argentinian was substituted in the 66th minute.
Guardiola angrily shouted at the player about something but the pair were later seen hugging, and the City boss says there is no issue. “He believes that I was upset with him for the goal we conceded,” said Guardiola.
“I am sometimes exaggerated on the touchline but few times am I upset with the players. “I was a football player, I know what it is like to be in there. It is part of the game – emotions. We talked after and during, and that’s all. He is a guy I like. I love him a lot.”