HomePREMIER LEAGUEPep Guardiola defends the ref from furious fans. Man City players and...

Pep Guardiola defends the ref from furious fans. Man City players and more squandered opportunities against Manchester United

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Pep Guardiola defends the ref from furious fans. Man City players and more squandered opportunities against Manchester United

Manchester City were defeated in the Premier League derby by Manchester United, with Bruno Fernandes’ controversial goal infuriating the visitors.

Manchester City were justifiably enraged after taking the lead via Jack Grealish, given the ferocity of Manchester United’s equalizer in the derby. Marcus Rashford was offside when he was passed through and only stopped running when Bruno Fernandes fired the ball past Ederson. After checking with his assistant, referee Stuart Attwell overruled the initial offside ruling to allow the goal to stand, eliciting rage from the City camp, who were justified in believing Rashford was affecting play from an offside position.

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After Rashford scored United’s winner, City’s emotions were evident as a number of their players surrounded the officials to express their displeasure at the game’s turning point. The City players appeared to be growing even furious, led by Joao Cancelo and Ederson, so it was a delight to see manager Pep Guardiola come and escort all of his players away from the officials, protecting them from any additional punishments that would compound the setback. Guardiola was outraged with the decision, but he kept his cool for the sake of his team.

Haaland enjoys the pre-match mimic.

The City players had to jog the entire length of the Old Trafford pitch to the dressing rooms before kickoff, getting the full pantomime treatment from United fans. During the process, at the Stretford End. As the majority of the Blues jogged back for their pre-match team chat, a few greeted BT Sport analyst and former City defender Joleon Lescott, who briefly ditched his ‘impartial’ character to shake hands with Nathan Ake, Bernardo Silva, and Kyle Walker live on TV.

While his teammates ran, Erling Haaland took a different strategy, quietly strolling the length of the pitch to growing whistles and jeers from United fans who had chosen early on that he would be their villain for the afternoon. In reaction, Haaland simply took it all in with a smile – after all, this was the game he stated he was most looking forward to after joining the Blues in the summer.

All of our buddies in the tunnel

There were plenty of niceties exchanged between the two adversaries as the players lined up to go out to ‘This is the One’ before the game. Rodri met Spain teammate David de Gea, as did Kevin De Bruyne and Ederson, while City’s Brazilian goalkeeper greeted international teammates Casemiro, Antony and Fred.

As Rio Ferdinand criticized the idea that players from opposing teams could be so friendly before a game, the new reality demonstrated that many of these best players put club rivalry aside in their social life or when they join up with their national teams. Having friends to call on in Manchester might be vital for the Brazilian, Portuguese, or Spanish contingents. 

in Manchester, even if they wear fancy jerseys on derby day.

Pep the ball-boy City’s first-half performance against United was notably better than the defeat at Southampton – albeit not by much. Still, the Blues were too passive for their manager, and Guardiola spent much of the first 45 minutes motioning to his men to accelerate up.

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At one point, he practically took matters into his own hands as a contested ball rolled straight to him in his technical area. Marcus Rashford attempted to persuade the referee with a rapid throw, but Guardiola had other plans, snatching up the ball and sheltering it from the United forward. The officials reached an agreement with the City in Manchester, even if they wear fancy jerseys on derby day.

Pep the ball-boy City’s first-half performance against United was notably better than the defeat at Southampton – albeit not by much. Still, the Blues were too passive for their manager, and Guardiola spent much of the first 45 minutes motioning to his men to accelerate up.

At one point, he practically took matters into his own hands as a contested ball rolled straight to him in his technical area. Marcus Rashford attempted to persuade the referee with a rapid throw, but Guardiola had other plans, snatching up the ball and sheltering it from the United forward. The officials reached an agreement with the City. 

Guardiola was able to keep his team moving fast by throwing the ball to Joao Cancelo, who was the boss over who should get the throw.

United fans mock City subs

Kalvin Phillips struggled on his whole City debut against Southampton and was duly replaced by Rodri at Old Trafford. As he warmed up at the start of the second half, Phillips was insulted by the home support who remembered Pep Guardiola’s comments that he returned from the World Cup ‘overweight’.

When Phillips raced out to prepare for a possible cameo, a litany of familiar weight-based chants greeted him, and the United fans in the Stretford End quickly shifted their focus to Erling Haaland when they cheekily asked: ‘Haaland, Haaland, how’s your dad?’ and Then ‘Keano, Keano,’ an allusion to Alfie Haaland’s derby day injury in 2001. Haaland scored a hat-trick for City at the Etihad in October, but he was ineffectual at Old Trafford, failing to lead City to a double in his debut season.

Pep Guardiola defends the ref from furious fans. Man City players and more squandered opportunities against Manchester United

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