Pep Guardiola: Man City boss angry with VAR decision

Pep Guardiola says “no one has given us anything in four-and-a-half-years” after Manchester City were denied a penalty in the win over Southampton.

City opened up a 14-point lead at the top of the table after a commanding 5-2 victory over Saints.

Guardiola was unhappy after the video assistant referee failed to award a penalty, at 1-1, when Phil Foden appeared to be fouled by Alex McCarthy.

“It’s just incredible the penalty was not given,” Guardiola told BBC Sport.

The City boss, who is six wins away from a third Premier League title in four seasons, said match referee Jon Moss was not to blame.

But he said it should have been picked up by VAR and a spot-kick awarded.

Instead, the VAR match centre said: “The on-field referee felt that Alex McCarthy got a slight touch on the ball, and VAR couldn’t see anything to disprove that.”

Guardiola, in charge of City since 2016, added: “Jon cannot see it. It’s happened but VAR is there for this. I don’t understand it.

“VAR is here to help. In these four-and-a-half-years, everything we have won, it’s for absolutely us. No-one has given us anything. Zero.”

Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy challenges Manchester City's Phil Foden
The incident happened when the game was 1-1 before City scored two goals in eight minutes at the end of the first half

‘I don’t dive’

The controversial moment happened after Saints keeper McCarthy failed to control a back-pass and dived at Foden’s feet to try and prevent the City midfielder from scoring.

After McCarthy’s challenge, and with the ball loose in Southampton’s penalty area, England forward Foden tried to carry on playing.

Afterward he said he thought it was “100 per cent a penalty”.

“I’m an honest guy, I don’t like to dive,” Foden added.

“I always try to stay on my feet but I would like to get rewarded with a fair decision.”

‘If Foden rolled around he’d get a penalty’

Former Newcastle and England winger Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It is a penalty. Fair play to Phil Foden for getting up and trying to get the ball to score, though.

“Foden was honest, but if he had gone down, and rolled around he’d have got the penalty.”

Former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder Graeme Souness, speaking to Sky Sports: “That is a penalty. They just make it up as they go along.”

BBC Radio 5 Live senior football reporter Ian Dennis, who was commentating at the match: “I’ve just had an opportunity to see Alex McCarthy’s challenge on Phil Foden and I am bamboozled as to why that wasn’t a penalty.

“He catches his left foot. I thought that was a clear and obvious error, and that is what VAR was brought in to change.”

Manchester City are 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League
Manchester City are 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League

‘Foden punished for being honest’

Matt: We’re used to saying that it’s not VAR’s fault, it’s poor refereeing decisions, but VAR really doesn’t help itself does it? If it can’t correct a decision like that, really what is the point of it? We’ve lost the ability to be able to celebrate goals, understand offside or handball. What are we getting in return?

Ian in Poole: Not sure who is more culpable there – blatant penalty and neither the ref or VAR have given it. Anywhere else on the pitch you’d be booked for a challenge like that.

Dom: Sorry what exactly are VAR there to do, if not to pick up on fouls that the referee has missed? Joke of a decision, Foden punished for being honest.

Antony Short: VAR not fit for purpose if that Foden foul isn’t a penalty, clear contact but because Foden is honest and stays on his feet it’s not given.

Brad: We could win this 10-2 and I’d still be going bed fuming, thinking about that Foden penalty.

Derek: It’s incidents like the Foden no-penalty where you really want to hear what’s said between officials, or at least get a post-match explanation. Otherwise it’s baffling.

Andy Worthing: If TV can show Foden touched the ball first and McCarthy then took his foot away, why can’t VAR see the same thing? Shocking decision by on and off-field officials.


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