I don’t want to talk about officials, says Manchester City boss Guardiola

Pep Guardiola held back from criticising the referee after David Silva alleviated the Manchester City manager’s frustrations with a late winner at Hoffenheim.

Silva struck three minutes from time as City snatched a 2-1 victory at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Tuesday night and secured their first points in this season’s Champions League.

Prior to that City had been controversially denied a penalty after Leroy Sane was felled by goalkeeper Oliver Baumann in the area.

That angered Guardiola and, even after Silva’s goal, he still seemed annoyed as he was seen shouting in the direction of the fourth official after the final whistle.

The City boss had only just returned to the touchline after serving a suspension for the Group F opener against Lyon a fortnight ago. He still has a suspended one-game ban hanging over him for his sending-off against Liverpool last season.

It was perhaps with that in mind that he tempered his emotions before speaking to media.

“I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to talk about officials,” said Guardiola, who was also spoken to earlier in the game by Slovenian referee Damir Skomina after encroaching onto the field to complain about another decision.

“I want to be with my players in the next games. I know what happened against Monaco at home and against Liverpool last season. I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to talk about officials.”

The heat was at least taken out of the situation to some degree by Silva’s strike. The Spaniard pounced on a defensive mistake to reward City for their dominance, although a lot of their play was scrappy.

The Premier League champions fell behind to an Ishak Belfodil strike inside the first minute and, even though Sergio Aguero quickly equalised, they continued to look vulnerable defensively against the hard-working Germans.

After losing to Lyon, Guardiola hopes the difficult nature of the first two games will prove of long-term benefit.

He said: “The previous two seasons were not simple but we qualified with games left and this time it’s not going to happen.

“Maybe for the future it’s going to be good to live these kind of situations. You cannot go through to the quarters, semis, without living these situations.

“That’s why today is one of the happiest days I’ve had in this club because it’s going to help us.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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