“Ask the referees, don’t ask me.”
That’s how Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola dismissed talk of the uncalled Trent Alexander-Arnold handball that came moments before Liverpool scored its wonderful opener in a 3-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.
“Ask Mike Riley and the guys in VAR,” he said. “I would like to talk about our performance, it was so good. It was one of the best performances we have played.”
The relative calm was a massive departure from how Guardiola left the pitch after a second, less intriguing handball shout to Alexander-Arnold after City had cut the three-goal lead to two.
Waving his hands frantically with two fingers raised on the touch line before sarcastically shaking Michael Oliver’s hand after the game, Guardiola struck two very different figures in a short period of time.
Just a *touch* of sarcasm. pic.twitter.com/ky0K5wY08x
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) November 10, 2019
Guardiola went on to laud both teams for their performances.
Although we think he liked his team’s performance a bit more than he should — the last pass/decision was not where it usually is — City did have more possession, more shots, better passing, and won the aerial battle.
“We played like back-to-back champions. We cannot deny how good Liverpool are but the way we played, the personality, it was good.
“It was quite similar to the Champions League game. It was an incredible situations in that game too but the performance today was so good. Always we try, never give up that is why we are back-to-back champions. Always fight until the end.
“It is important to grow as a club and as a team. It was an honor for both team to show Premier League to spectators this type of game.”