Pep Guardiola has praised the officiating team in charge of Manchester City’s game against Borussia Dortmund after a controversial call against Jude Bellingham.
Dortmund midfielder Bellingham was denied a goal in the 37th minute when the referee deemed the youngster had fouled Man City goalkeeper Ederson in the action of winning the ball.
Replays showed that Bellingham made contact with the ball before he touched Ederson, and in fact, it looked as if the Brazilian goalkeeper kicked the Dortmund player, not the other way around.
BIG moment in the first half at the Etihad.
▪️ Bellingham closes down Ederson.
▪️ Wins the ball.
▪️ Sticks it in the net.
▪️ Ref had blown for a free-kick.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) April 6, 2021
The 17-year-old was irate with the decision but was unable to convince the referee to change his mind as Man City remained one goal up.
The Premier League leaders eventually won the game 2-1, thanks to a late winner from Phil Foden. Dortmund will be relatively pleased with securing an away goal in Manchester but will feel aggrieved that they did not secure a draw.
‘They did a good job. That’s all.’
Guardiola was speaking to the media after the game and commended the officiating team for their performances while shrugging off the fact that one of the linesmen asked Dortmund’s Erling Haaland for his autograph.
🗣 “He’s a fan, he’s a fan from Haaland so why not?”
Pep Guardiola says he has no problem with the assistant referee asking Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland for an autograph pic.twitter.com/aJ9CiEy654
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 7, 2021
“I didn’t see it but maybe he’s a fan of Haaland and he’s here, so why not?” Guardiola said of the linesman.
“The referees were brilliant. The game was not a problem. It was a penalty but the people saw the VAR and it was not a penalty.
“After the Bellingham action the leg is higher than expected, so the referee and linesmen were correct, perfect. They did a good job. That’s all. Nothing happened.”