Guardiola Defends Haaland's Histrionics Against Referee Simon Hooper

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has defended Erling Haaland's histrionics against referee Simon Hooper in Sunday's Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspurs.

Dec 4, 2023 - 04:00
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Guardiola Defends Haaland's Histrionics Against Referee Simon Hooper

A riveting encounter at the Etihad Stadium ended 3-3 but the home side were left incensed when Hooper called back play late on with Jack Grealish through on goal, having initially signalled an advantage, for a foul on Haaland.

The Norwegian striker did not hide his frustration in the immediate aftermath of the decision and continued his remonstration after the game on social media.

Even Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou admitted afterwards that his side were lucky in that moment.

Guardiola said after the game: “It’s normal. His reaction was the same for 10 players. The rules are you cannot talk with the referees or fourth officials, so we should have had 10 players sent off today.

“He’s a little bit disappointed. Even the referee – if he played for Man City today he would be disappointed for that action, that’s for sure.”

He added in a press conference: “I make mistakes, the players make mistakes.

“It surprised me because in the moment Erling went down (and) if you whistle in that moment it’s fine.

“But when he stands up and continues and the referee makes that gesture to play on, and after he (Haaland) makes the pass he then stops the game – I don’t want to criticise him.

“On the touchline sometimes I lose my mind and my gestures are not proper but for many years as a manager I’m not a guy, when I’m refreshed, to comment.”

Manchester City have dropped to third on the table after three draws on the spin.