Facing an early setback due to Son Heung-min’s goal, Manchester City managed to take the lead twice, only to concede an equalizer in the 90th minute. In the dying moments of injury time, the home team found themselves in a promising situation. Erling Haaland, who had been fouled, rose again to deliver a pass to Jack Grealish.
Grealish was on course to face a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper. To the surprise of Manchester City, referee Simon Hooper then blew the whistle for a foul against Haaland, despite initially indicating to play on.
During an interview with Sky Sports, Manager Pep Guardiola refrained from delving into extensive commentary on the incident, refusing to follow the lead of his colleague and former assistant, Mikel Arteta, who openly criticized the FA when feeling that Arsenal was disadvantaged.
In a conversation with BBC, Guardiola further elaborated on his approach, stating, “Sometimes, I can also be provoked emotionally when it comes to referees, but not in this case. People can always make mistakes.”
“It was surprising for me, the fact that he was about to blow the whistle when Erling fell, but after he (Haaland) got up and made the pass, the referee gestured to continue playing.”
“But when the ball reached Jack, he then blew the whistle,” added the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach.