Pep Guardiola refuses to criticise referee after Willy Boly's handball in Manchester City draw

Boly converted Joao Moutinho’s cross beyond Ederson to hand the home side the lead after 57 minutes but replays show that he used his arm to score

Jack Watson
Sunday 26 August 2018 10:10
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Manchester City 2018/19 Premier League profile

Pep Guardiola has refused to blame the referee for Manchester City’s failure to beat newly-promoted Wolves in Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

Willy Boly converted Joao Moutinho’s cross beyond Ederson to hand the home side the lead after 57 minutes but replays show that he used his arm to score.

City did not panic and Aymeric Laporte’s powerful header 20 minutes from the end ensured the champions left with a point.

Guardiola had plenty of reason to be unhappy with the referee, Martin Atkinson, but he refused to criticise the officiating.

Willy Boly opened the scoring, but should it have stood? 

"I didn't see it. I'm not the referee, never will be," said Guardiola on Boly's goal and City's soft penalty shouts.

When he was asked if VAR will have been useful, he added: "I don't work for the Premier League."

The draw means that City maintain their unbeaten start to the season, but it shows that teams can take the game to the title favourites.

Both teams will feel they should have won the surprisingly finely poised fixture. Sergio Aguero twice hit the post and Raheem Sterling had a good effort from range turned over the bar by Rui Patricio. David Silva and Aguero both looked for penalties after going down in the box, though neither were convincing appeals.

"The game was expected, I'm not surprised. I'm satisfied with how many chances we created," said Guardiola.

"I don't have many regrets. There was a lack of rhythm sometimes but in general I'm satisfied with the performance.

"They have an excellent manager and what they have done in the Championship is excellent.

"Some points we could do better but you have to give credit to the opponents. We dropped two points but nothing will change after three Premier League games. It's a long road."

Pep Guardiola exchanges words with Martin Atkinson at full time

Given their recent Premier League status and Nuno Espirito Santo’s reluctance to alter their expansive style of play, many predicted a defeat for Wolves, but luck was on their side and they earned their first point of the season.

"Last week it (a deflection against Leicester) happened against us. This is football, it's what we have to be prepared for,” said Nuno.

"It doesn't matter how you score, the referee is there to judge, you have to just be ready.

"You get a goal, it's about how you react to that. Don't think it's luck or unlucky, focus on your tasks and be prepared for the next action.

"It was a good performance overall. We have to be cautious and realising what you have, the opposition is the best team and the champions of the Premier League,” added the Wolves manager.

"It was a good game and, if there's a but, after we score we should have managed a couple of minutes better. It's a growing process, one more to work on and improve for next week."

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