Pep Guardiola Aims Subtle Dig at Mikel Arteta After Controversial Referee Decision

Pep Guardiola Aims Subtle Dig at Mikel Arteta After Controversial Referee Decision

Rene Otinga
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • Pep Guardiola aimed a sly dig at Mikel Arteta on Sunday
  • This came earlier in Manchester City’s 3-3 draw against Tottenham
  • City were controversially denied the chance to score a winner by referee Simon Hooper

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola appeared to aim a cheeky jab at Mikel Arteta following his team’s draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, December 3.

In what was an entertaining encounter, City had the chance to make it 4-3 in the fourth minute of added time after Erling Haaland played through Jack Grealish, who was one on one with the Spurs goalkeeper.

But referee Simon Hooper instead called the play back for a foul on Haaland by Tottenham’s Emerson Royal in the build-up to the Norwegian’s pass to Grealish.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on December 03, 2023 in Manchester, England. Photo by James Gill.
Source: Getty Images

The decision left Manchester City players furious as they surrounded the referee to protest the call, but damage had already been done and the game ended with two crucial points dropped for the home side.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Guardiola refused to be drawn into any controversy as he played down the referee’s decision while name-dropping Mikel Arteta in the process.

"Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment,” Guardiola said before eventually giving his two cents on the issue.

The Spaniard added:

"It is hard when you review the image, the referee decides to blow the whistle after he has already said to play on. After the pass, the whistle, so I do not understand this action.”

Arteta’s past comments

What Guardiola was referring to was Arteta’s comments in November when Arsenal suffered a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle.

The Arsenal manager was adamant Anthony Gordon’s goal should have been ruled out, describing VAR’s call as an “absolute disgrace”.

Arteta was eventually charged with a breach of FA Rule E3.1, as the manager’s comments were deemed to be a form of misconduct.

Meanwhile, Guardiola also addressed Erling Haaland’s furious reaction at full-time after Simon Cooper’s controversial decision, describing it as “normal”.

“Even the referee, if he played for City today, would be disappointed with that action!”.

Five controversial decisions against Arsenal

Sports Brief has also analysed five controversial decisions against Arsenal after Arteta went on a rant following the VAR's decision against his team in the 1-0 loss to Newcastle.

The Gunners were also on the wrong side of officiating after Manchester City star, Mateo Kovacic escaped a red card for two offences, though a win compensated the Londoners.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and
Pep GuardiolaMikel Arteta