Belfast Telegraph

Guardiola wants answers from refs' chief after penalty furore

Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

By Ian Herbert

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said that he would like an explanation about the English rules from referees' leader Mike Riley, after insisting that his side had been denied a spot-kick which could have seen them beat Tottenham Hotspur.

Opposite number Mauricio Pochettino flatly rejected his complaint that Raheem Sterling was blatantly pushed by Kyle Walker as he ran through on goal after 76 minutes, just before Spurs scored their equaliser in the 2-2 draw. Pochettino said it was important to understand that "in England it's different; we are in a different world here."

But Guardiola will take some persuading. He was deeply unhappy about the push, which might have been punished had Sterling gone to ground, rather than continue to shoot. Walker admitted after the game that he did push the player.

"What did Walker say? And for Gundogan against Chelsea?" Guadiola asked, returning to City's indignation that a penalty hadn't been given in the 3-1 home defeat to Antonio Conte's side last month, when Ilkay Gundogan went down in the area as he shaped to shoot and N'Golo Kante moved to intervene.

"It is the same argument as against Chelsea," Guardiola added. "We lost as we missed a lot of chances. When that happens the influence of the referee is higher. When you score a lot of goals the referee doesn't matter.

"The rules here are the rules. So maybe one day Mike Riley will explain to me. When he is pushed, I don't understand. Again, we lost as we missed a lot of chances, if we score a lot of chances the referee doesn't matter. When it happens, at the right moment the right decision is important."

Pochettino said: "I think we can't complain about the referee, it is true Man City were better than us, I need to be honest, but it is true in football that sometimes you are better and don't win."

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