Guardiola blames missed chances, not referee for City draw

Published On: January 22, 2017 02:13 PM NPT By: Reuters

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola disguised any feelings of injustice behind criticism of his side's finishing after watching them waste a chance to make up ground at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.

Guardiola must have been fuming inwardly after his side were denied a clear penalty when leading 2-1 against Tottenham Hotspur, 60 seconds before the visitors equalised to secure a 2-2 draw.

However, rather than attack referee Andre Marriner for his failure to punish Tottenham right back Kyle Walker for a clear shove on Raheem Sterling in the penalty area, Guardiola again tangled with a BBC reporter.

Asked for his opinion on the pivotal incident, Guardiola response echoed his tetchy post-match interview after his side beat Burnley last month.

"The first question is about the referee?," the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach said.

"This is the prestigious BBC, we have to talk about the football, no? Not the referee."

Guardiola clearly wanted to change the subject and was more forthcoming about his team's vibrant display which should have earned them more than a draw against second-placed Spurs.

"It was an outstanding performance. It's a pity but it's a copy of what's happened this season. We created more chances, we conceded few, but we are not able to win the right decisions in the right moments. But you have to score goals.

"When we don't miss a lot of chances, the referee doesn't matter. We created too many chances, so many chances, and after that against a top team like Tottenham, they shoot two times and scored two goals. It's impossible."

City were in complete control in the first half but a combination of poor finishing, Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris and desperate defending kept them at bay.

Two mistakes by Lloris allowed Leroy Sane and Kevin de Bruyne to score early in the second half but Tottenham battled back.

"Yeah, I wasn't going to get it (the ball) otherwise. I wanted to put him off as much as possible and then Hugo went and pulled off the save and then we went on and hung on to the draw," said Walker, who could have been sent off had the referee pointed to the spot.

Guardiola was at least happy with that admission.

"Thank you Walker for being honest. I know this country likes that people are honest, so I appreciate that," he said.

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