Pep Guardiola insisted that James Milner should have been sent off in Manchester City’s thrilling draw at Liverpool, where Jürgen Klopp hailed Mohamed Salah as one of the best players in the world after his superb solo goal which carried the score at 2-1.
City dominated the first half at Anfield but fell behind twice, recovered twice thanks to Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne, and were indebted to Rodri’s tackle in the 85th minute to prevent Fabinho from sealing a victory in Liverpool. City subsequently lodged an official complaint with Liverpool after a fan allegedly spat on his bench during the second half. Liverpool have launched an investigation and are studying CCTV footage.
“I haven’t seen it but heard about it,” Guardiola said. “People told me it happened. I’m pretty sure Liverpool FC will take action against this person. I know Liverpool are bigger than these stocks. In every club there are people who do a bad deed because of their emotions. “
The City manager was more aggrieved by the decision of referee Paul Tierney not to show Milner a second yellow card for a foul on the exceptional Bernardo Silva with the score of 1-1.
Guardiola, who was booked for his furious protests, said: “He has to show me the yellow card but before that he has to show James the second. The margins are so tight in these games that it can make a huge difference. That doesn’t mean you’re going to win against Liverpool at Anfield, but this action is too obvious not to give James the second yellow. It’s never easy at Anfield or Old Trafford.
” The [Tierney] knows when he sees the action it’s a yellow card. I understand the pressure for everyone. The decision has to be made in a second, maybe yes, maybe no, there are 20 minutes left, 1-1 and after that they do it 2-1 from James Milner’s zone position. Now I’m more or less satisfied because we draw but we could have lost and I would be more angry. The referee knows full well that it was the second yellow card.
Guardiola ran into Milner in the Anfield tunnel after the game and had what seemed like a lively conversation with the Liverpool midfielder. “He gave me golf tips,” said the city manager. “He’s a lot better at golf than I am. We talked a bit about the game and the yellow card. He was joking.
Although he failed to capitalize on several clear openings in the first half, Guardiola insisted: “Nothing in my mind, heart or soul is disappointed with what we’ve done. “
Klopp, on the other hand, was not happy with Liverpool’s performance in the first half but delighted with an improvement in the second half that produced a breakthrough for Sadio Mané and a sensational strike from Salah.
“It was two completely different halves, thank goodness because the first was exactly how you shouldn’t be against Man City and the second was exactly how you should,” said the Liverpool manager.
“The second half was us – brave, aggressive, full of determination, ready to play in small spaces and use the width. The first half was probably the worst we’ve played against City. We had to show a reaction and it was absolutely brilliant. The first goal was a great counterattack and the second only the best players in the world score goals like this. Absolutely exceptional. This club never forgets anything and people will be talking about this goal for a long, long time and 56 years from now when they will still remember this game. “
It was a reference to former Liverpool forward Roger Hunt, who scored in the FA Cup final 56 years ago and died last week.