Manchester City’s backroom staff make complaint after allegedly being SPAT at by a Liverpool fan in second half of Anfield clash – as Pep Guardiola urges the club to take action
- Member of City backroom staff allegedly spat on after Phil Foden equalised
- City have submitted formal complaint and investigation is ongoing
- Guardiola felt Paul Tierney should have sent James Milner off for second yellow
- City manager said his side don’t get decisions at Anfield and Old Trafford
- Goals from Phil Foden and Kevin de Bruyne level pulsating encounter
Pep Guardiola was apoplectic with the performance of referee Paul Tierney before Manchester City lodged a complaint with Liverpool over fan behaviour in the stands.
City alleged that a member of their backroom team, sat behind Guardiola in the dugout, was spat at during the second half of Sunday’s pulsating 2-2 draw at Anfield.
The incident is said to have taken place in the immediate aftermath of Phil Foden’s equaliser for the Premier League champions, with Liverpool now investigating the allegation. City say they have footage of the fan.
Pep Guardiola was angry at fourth official Mike Dean as he felt City were not getting decisions
‘I heard someone from the crowd saying something not nice to our staff but I don’t know exactly what,’ Guardiola said.
’I didn’t see the images. Liverpool is much, much greater than one person so nothing will change (in how) I admire this club, absolutely not.
‘The same thing happened a few years ago when they destroyed our bus when we came here. It is certain people, not Liverpool FC. It is always a pleasure to come to this stadium; it’s an honour for this atmosphere, how they support the team.’
The City manager had been left seething on the touchline during a frenetic second period, when he twice saw his team come from behind to battle to a draw.
The alleged incident with the supporter comes just three years after Reds fans pelted the City team bus with bottles ahead of a Champions League semi-final at Anfield
Guardiola suggested Tierney had shied back from showing James Milner a second yellow card for a foul on Bernardo Silva before Liverpool’s right back was hooked and Guardiola booked following his animated protestations.
‘Referees have emotions and he (Tierney) knows when he’s going to see the action he will know it’s a yellow card,’ he added.
’I understand the pressure, the referee has the pressure, a decision has to be made in one second.
‘It was clear, with 25 minutes left and at that moment it was 1-1. Now I’m more or less satisfied because we drew, but had we lost I would be more angry.
Guardiola felt referee Paul Tierney should have sent James Milner for a second yellow card
Guardiola said City were not getting decisions going their way at Anfield and Old Trafford
The Spaniard admitted the draw had left him satisfied after City twice pegged Liverpool back
‘It’s clear. It’s Anfield, it’s (like) Old Trafford. In our situation a City player is sent off – 100 per cent.’
Guardiola embraced Milner in the tunnel around half an hour after full-time, the pair talking about the tackle and potential ramifications before the chat apparently turned to golf.
‘He’s a better golfer than me and he gave me some tips,’ Guardiola said. ‘He’s a nice lad, we couldn’t be together in Manchester but I know from the backroom staff what a nice lad he is.
‘We talked about the game a little bit and the yellow card. He was joking.’
James Milner (left) endured a torrid time marking Phil Foden before he was replaced
Guardiola felt Milner was lucky to escape a second yellow for a challenge on Bernardo Silva
Jurgen Klopp, who admitted his team were second best before the break, stated that he was planning to withdraw Milner regardless. The 35-year-old had endured a torrid time marking Foden.
‘Milner got a yellow in the first half and everyone from City was outraged because of a challenge, it was clear we had to react,’ Klopp said.
’I saw the reaction from the City bench. We planned to take Milly off because of the yellow card from the first half.
’It was quite an exciting game with two completely different halves, thank god, because the first was exactly like you shouldn’t do it against Man City. The second was exactly was how you should.
Jurgen Klopp replaced Milner in the second half as he felt the City players were targeting him
’I can’t remember a chance from us in the first half so I was really happy for the whistle. We told the boys again what we should do.
‘These things happen against a team like City, when you are passive without the ball and they pass through the lines and you cannot get in the challenges. Our biggest problem in the first half was we couldn’t play football.
‘Even with two good halves there are times we do not win against City but the first half was probably the worst we played against them.’
Guardiola’s complaints could not dampen an occasion that pitted the country’s best two teams over the last four years at full throttle.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Liverpool as the Reds struck against the run of play
Klopp admired the individual brilliance of Mo Salah, who scored one of the finest goals witnessed in these parts for years, while his City counterpart claimed this was why he was always so keen for a move to England.
‘That’s why the Premier League is the best,’ Guardiola said.
’It was great, really great. I know how difficult it is against these players and this manager. Every time it is incredible challenge for us.
‘The way we played at Stamford Bridge, in Paris and today shows we are a great team. When we lose the way we play at Paris Saint-Germain and then draw today it is good. I pray we continue like this.’
Mo Salah added a second as he notched his eighth goal in nine games so far this season
Guardiola praised his team’s character by coming back from behind in a febrile atmosphere.
Guardiola said: ‘When they score a goal, for the next five minutes you are thinking, “oh, we are losing four-zero.”
‘The way they cheer and support the team is great. It’s Anfield. The last two times we came here we played special, with huge personality. I am very pleased with that.’
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