Pep Guardiola: Disallowed Haaland ‘goal’ proves Man City success is on own merit

By Sports Desk May 25, 2023

Pep Guardiola believes the perceived injustice of Erling Haaland’s disallowed goal in Wednesday’s thrilling 1-1 draw at Brighton proves Manchester City are Premier League champions on their own merits.

City top scorer Haaland looked to have claimed a late winner at the Amex Stadium but his close-range header from Cole Palmer’s cross was ruled out after VAR spotted a shirt pull on Levi Colwill.

Guardiola was visibly angered by the decision after seeing a replay on the big screen inside the ground and was later shown a yellow card by referee Simon Hooper for his ongoing protestations.

The City boss claims 36-goal striker Haaland has endured similar physical contact from defenders all season and feels the incident shows his side have not benefited from favourable refereeing calls during their charge to the title.

“If it’s disallowed, every action to Erling Haaland by all central defenders is a fault,” he said.

“Every action. And we saw one or two (on Wednesday).

“It’s a goal because he’s bigger, he’s stronger, he won the position (from Colwill) and it was an incredible action from Cole Palmer and the goal should be given.

“But that proved that what we won on the pitch belongs to us, not anyone gave us anything.

“He has bruises on all of his body after the games. If he’s faulting in the disallowed goal, every action to him is a fault and never happens.”

Haaland, who squandered two excellent first-half chances, nodded home 11 minutes from time in front of the travelling fans after Julio Enciso’s stunning strike cancelled out Phil Foden’s opener.

A gripping south-coast contest halted City’s top-flight winning streak at 12 games but mattered little in the context of their season.

that proved that what we won on the pitch belongs to us, not anyone gave us anything.

Guardiola’s men enjoyed alcohol-fuelled celebrations after lifting the Premier League trophy following Sunday’s 1-0 win over Chelsea and are bidding to complete the treble with FA Cup and Champions League glory.

Following Sunday’s visit to Brentford, City face rivals Manchester United at Wembley on June 3 before attempting to become European champions for the first time against Inter Milan in Istanbul a week later.

Guardiola has defensive issues moving towards the two finals after Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Manuel Akanji missed the trip to Sussex.

Jack Grealish was also absent, while John Stones and Foden were withdrawn during the game as a precaution.

“Phil had a knock in the first half and problems in his leg and the doctor told me that in this position it is dangerous so we don’t take a risk,” said Guardiola.

“John at the end was a little tight but he didn’t feel anything and is fine, he told me, but we didn’t want to take a risk because we had just one central defender with John.

“The others are injured so hopefully they can recover as soon as possible.

“We sustained no injuries for a long time but the moment we get near the Champions League final, four or five players get little niggles – important ones – and we have to recover them.”

Sixth-placed Brighton cemented their spot in next season’s Europa League with the midweek point.

Pascal Gross, the Seagulls’ first signing following promotion to the top flight in 2017, told his club’s website: “I’m so proud of the boys, what an achievement for us.

“We can’t wait for the Europa League. What a season ahead.”

Paraguayan Enciso’s spectacular equaliser followed another goal of the season contender from the 19-year-old in last month’s 2-1 win at Chelsea.

“He can have it (goal of the season),” said Gross. “Two incredible goals.

“What I like more, he’s getting better and better. It’s not easy coming from far away abroad with no English.

“But he’s improving speaking English, he’s improving adapting to the group, a good guy and I think there’s much more to come.”

Related items

  • How bosses have fared after arriving in Premier League from Scottish Premiership How bosses have fared after arriving in Premier League from Scottish Premiership

    Ange Postecoglou has swapped Celtic for Tottenham as the north London club’s permanent successor to former head coach Antonio Conte.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the most recent managers to move from the Scottish to the English top flight, and how they fared.

    Steven Gerrard

    The former Liverpool and England captain took over at Rangers in 2018, finishing second behind Celtic in his first two seasons – and also losing the 2020 League Cup final to them – before breaking through to win the 2020-21 Premiership in an unbeaten season to deny Celtic a 10th title in a row.

    He was appointed at Aston Villa early the following season, with a reported £4million compensation payment to Rangers, but was unable to improve Villa’s results.

    They finished 14th that season and he was sacked after a poor start to 2022-23, with Unai Emery taking over and leading Villa into Europe. Meanwhile, north of the border, Postecoglou had taken over Celtic and re-established their dominance.

    Gerrard managed 13 wins in 40 games as Villa boss, a 32.5 per cent win rate.

    Paul Heckingbottom

    Heckingbottom left Hibernian in November 2019 and, having been out of work for much of the season, became Sheffield United Under-23 coach in July 2020.

    He took over as interim manager after Chris Wilder was sacked in March 2021 but won only three of 11 games as the club’s relegation was confirmed.

    Having lost out on the permanent job to Slavisa Jokanovic, he took over six months later after the Serbian’s dismissal and has led the Blades back to the top flight for the new season, winning 48 of 83 games in his current reign.

    Brendan Rodgers

    Rodgers was already an established name in England after spells at Reading and Liverpool, but it was at Celtic where he built his medal collection with back-to-back domestic trebles – adding the League Cup leg of a third before departing for Leicester in February 2019 and leaving Neil Lennon to finish the job.

    With the Foxes he won the FA Cup in 2020-21 and reached the Europa League semi-final the following season, with league finishes of ninth, fifth, fifth and eighth as they twice missed out on the Champions League on the final day.

    He was sacked in April with the club 19th in the league, with successor Dean Smith unable to save them from relegation. Rodgers won 92 of 204 Leicester games in all competitions, 45.1 per cent.

    Alex McLeish

    McLeish’s spell with Rangers brought him two league titles, two Scottish Cups and three League Cups, including a treble in 2002-03, following a second-placed finish with Motherwell and a promotion with Hibernian.

    That earned him the Scotland job but he led them for only 12 games before returning to club management south of the border with Birmingham.

    Blues were relegated in his first season in charge but bounced straight back, finished ninth in 2009-10 and won the 2011 League Cup after Obafemi Martins’ late winner against Arsenal.

    That same season brought a second relegation, though, and McLeish resigned after 168 games in charge with a 36.9 per cent win rate.

  • Tottenham appoint Ange Postecoglou as head coach on four-year contract Tottenham appoint Ange Postecoglou as head coach on four-year contract

    Tottenham have appointed former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou as their head coach on a four-year deal.

    The 57-year-old Australian, who won the domestic treble with Celtic this season, moves south to London to replace Antonio Conte.

    Conte was sacked in late March, with Cristian Stellini and then Ryan Mason taking temporary charge.

    Postecoglou will officially join Spurs on July 1.

    Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said on the club’s website: “Ange brings a positive mentality and a fast, attacking style of play.

    “He has a strong track record of developing players and an understanding of the importance of the link from the academy – everything that is important to our club.

    “We are excited to have Ange join us as we prepare for the season ahead.”

  • Harry Kane’s future and uniting Spurs dressing room – tasks for Ange Postecoglou Harry Kane’s future and uniting Spurs dressing room – tasks for Ange Postecoglou

    Tottenham have ended their long search for a permanent head coach by appointing Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

    Postecoglou, who won five major trophies in two seasons at Celtic, including this season’s domestic treble, faces a tough task to quickly turn Tottenham’s fortunes around.

    Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the 57-year-old’s in-tray.

    Resolve Harry Kane’s future

    The most pressing issue awaiting Postecoglou in his first job as a Premier League head coach is the future of Kane. The England captain has one year left on his contract and has been linked with a possible summer move to a host of Europe’s leading clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Postecoglou will want Kane to stay, but will also want assurances. The 29-year-old is either all in and stays, or opts for a new challenge and generates funds to help Tottenham rebuild their squad. Whatever Kane decides, Postecoglou will need a speedy decision.

    Unite the dressing room

    None of Tottenham’s near 30-man first-team squad are out of contract this summer, but plenty of departures can be expected. Postecoglou’s predecessor Antonio Conte publicly criticised his players’ team ethic and anyone lacking in that regard will have no place in the former Australia head coach’s squad. He must quickly work out who he can trust to fully commit to his principles and methods and try and move on those he does not. Unity and spirit were the bedrock for Celtic’s success under Postecoglou and he will want to lay the same foundations at Tottenham.

    Win over doubters

    Postecoglou was not top choice for the majority of Tottenham’s supporters and there will be plenty of scepticism among those who had called for the return of Mauricio Pochettino, while the likes of Arne Slot, Roberto De Zerbi and Luis Enrique were also reported to be on the club’s list of targets. Postecoglou must win over the doubters and reconnect the players with a disgruntled fanbase. He did just that at Celtic where he first took charge in a toxic environment, but can his blueprint for success in the Scottish Premiership transfer to the English top flight?

    Director of football key

    Tottenham have been without a director of football since the resignation of Fabio Paratici in April and the club will now prioritise that key appointment in readiness for a busy summer ahead. Feyenoord’s general manager Dennis te Kloese has turned down the role and, while filling the vacancy falls under chairman Daniel Levy’s remit, Postecoglou could well be involved in the process and will definitely want to strike an instant rapport with whoever takes on the job. The Australian has a clear philosophy for possession-based, high-energy football and the project will only work if the two parties are aligned.

    Top-four challenge

    European football has eluded Spurs for the first time since 2009-10 and they can ill-afford to miss out for a second successive season in their bid to retain their status as a ‘Big Six’ club. Postecoglou must overhaul the playing squad, galvanise a dispirited dressing room and bed in his backroom staff – what role, if any, for fans’ favourite Ryan Mason? – all in time to launch a Champions League challenge with the same brand of football that has thrilled Celtic fans for the past two years.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.