- April 20th, 2019- Sports
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says VAR is “f boring to talk about”.
Guardiola, who has long been one of the game’s major champions of VAR, saw City exit the Champions League in extraordinary circumstances against Tottenham this week with the technology twice having a huge impact.
Although City beat Spurs 4-3 in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, their 1-0 reverse in the first encounter in London saw Mauricio Pochettino’s side progress on away goals.
The decisive goal was scored by Spurs striker Fernando Llorente, VAR ruling it should stand despite replays indicating the ball brushed his arm before bouncing into City’s net off his hip.
And further VAR drama stunned the stadium in added time when Raheem Sterling’s celebrations were cut short after he seemed to have wrapped up a hat-trick to deliver a semi-final spot.
VAR reviewed the strike and replays showed Sergio Aguero was marginally offside in the build-up, which stemmed from a loose Christian Eriksen pass towards his own goal.
Spurs return to Manchester for a crunch clash on Saturday with City looking to refocus on a gripping title race with Liverpool – and Guardiola is keen to move on from the debate over VAR, which is coming to the Premier League next season.
“We play for a lot, put a lot of effort in those situations, but we accept it,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “Sometimes the referee’s wrong decision goes in our favour, in this case it was against us. Accept it, it’s football, it’s life.
“Especially for the game tomorrow, if we think about what could happen differently, I don’t know. For one inch we are out, for one handball we are out. Or maybe not, maybe after 10 minutes Tottenham attack and score three goals in five minutes.
“Maybe [that] happens, or maybe not, I don’t know. I think to focus on this one action is ridiculous, because the game was so nice, the football was so nice, so open.
“VAR is f boring to talk about. Sometimes it helps you, sometimes not. UEFA created it to help the referees. What can I do?
“Try to concede less goals in these stages. Try to be more solid defensively, even though we are so solid throughout the season, even at top sides. At Chelsea, at Liverpool, in all the games we were so solid.
“It’s the competition, the knockout, the way we played for the minutes, and my feeling – maybe it will not be good for next season – that at every stage we are still better, we are still creating a lot of chances.
“No team created that many chances in Europe like we are able to create in many games. That’s why I like to see the way my team play, but unfortunately we are not in the next stage.”
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