Man City: Pep Guardiola has Liverpool theory about Premier League referees and VAR | Football | Sport
The Premier League and the media both favour Liverpool, while they also tend to get away with controversial refereeing decisions, it added.
City boss Pep Guardiola was left fuming on the Anfield touchline on Sunday, after the Citizens were denied – what appeared to be – a clear penalty for handball.
He was also angry that Liverpool managed to escape conceding a second penalty during the second half, when Trent Alexander-Arnold handled the ball inside the box.
Jurgen Klopp’s side scored their first goal of the match just 22 seconds after the ball struck the Liverpool defender’s arm in the first half.
Their second goal, which was scored seven minutes later, was also the centre of VAR controversy.
Goalscorer Mohamed Salah appeared to be in an offside position from some angles, but VAR decided to award the goal exceedingly quickly compared to other similar incidents.
Just 24 hours earlier, Sheffield United had a goal ruled out against Tottenham from a similar position, and VAR took longer than three minutes to confirm its decision.
City’s ‘obsession’ with Liverpool inevitably stems back to the 2018 Champions League quarter-final tie between the two teams.
The players’ coach was attacked by fans on its way to Anfield, with Guardiola thanking police profusely for their protection.
During the same match, Salah scored from an offside position, while City’s Gabriel Jesus saw a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.
Raheem Sterling was also denied a penalty after he was brought down by Andrew Robertson in the Liverpool box.
One week later, and Leroy Sane saw his goal disallowed for offside, despite the initial pass coming from Liverpool’s James Milner.
But, with Liverpool’s latest win over City, they moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
City dropped down to fourth place in the league, nine points behind their rivals.
The Citizens managed to chase down the Reds last season, who appeared to be a commanding position in the title race, and Guardiola knows this year’s rivalry is far from over at this early stage of the campaign.