Pep Guardiola raged at the disallowing of a Phil Foden goal at Liverpool with the scoreline level at 0-0, saying: “This is Anfield.”
The Manchester City manager, who said he was pelted with coins by home supporters behind him, later saw Mohamed Salah score the only goal of a pulsating game which also featured a red card for the Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp.
Foden’s effort was ruled out after VAR advice for a shirt pull in the build-up by Erling Haaland on Fabinho. Haaland then worked the ball free of Alisson, even though the goalkeeper appeared to have two hands on it.
When asked about the decision, Guardiola replied: “This is Anfield. The referee spoke with my assistant coaches and said: ‘I’m not going to make fouls and I will be clear.’ All game it was play on and play on and play on. Except the goal [for Foden]. The ref can decide: ‘I’m going to whistle all the actions,’ but he decided not to do it and then after he did it. When we scored a goal it was not play on. This is the reality.
“We didn’t lose the game for that because nobody knows what would have happened but we had momentum and control and scored a goal. We could not have it and then after we lost by a mistake [by João Cancelo for the Salah goal].”
Guardiola turned to sarcastically conduct the celebrations of the Liverpool fans after the VAR intervention. “They shouted, we shout more,” he said. “Otherwise, here in this stadium, you go. The game was calm and then after the goal was disallowed and after they scored a goal, it was the real Anfield.”
On the coin throwing, Guardiola said: “Next time they will do it better. They didn’t get me. They tried but didn’t get me. They got it at the [team] coach years ago [before a Champions League tie] but not this time.”
Klopp apologised to Guardiola for the coin throwing, while the club pledged to issue lifetime bans from Anfield to anyone found guilty.
The Liverpool manager admitted he was not proud of himself for the red card; he snapped after there was no whistle for a Bernardo Silva challenge on Salah in the 86th minute.
“My fault, I went over the top,” Klopp said. “I know myself, I am 55 and I deserve a red card. I lost it in that moment and it is not OK. But as an excuse, how on earth can you miss that foul [by Silva]? Anthony Taylor just let things run and I know Pep said that Anfield made the VAR decision. But it was a foul on Fabinho and Alisson had two hands on the ball. So three situations [with the Silva challenge] where he should have whistled.”