Sunday, February 25, 2024

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Manchester City’s clash with Tottenham lived up to the pre-match hype after a tense 3-3 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

That doesn’t mean Erling Holland was too happy when referee Simon Hooper denied Jack Grealish the chance to score a stoppage-time winner for the English Premier League title holder.

The Norway international reacted angrily when Grealish appeared to run towards goal and was whistled by the referee for an earlier foul against him.

City coach Pep Guardiola said afterwards: “He was a bit disappointed,” adding: “If he had played for Manchester City today, even the referee would have been disappointed by this behaviour, that’s for sure.”

As City searched for a winner following Dejan Kulzewski’s 90th-minute equaliser, Holland was brought down by Tottenham defender Emerson Royle. But as the striker regained his feet, Hooper signaled for play to continue and Holland flicked a pass to Grealish. The referee blew the whistle and the home fans and City players were furious.

Responding to video of the incident, Hollande expressed his frustration at what happened in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Guardiola was asked to comment on the referee’s decision in the post-match press conference and was very circumspect in his response.

Guardiola said: “I don’t want to criticize him (the referee). “Sometimes on the touchline I lose my mind, my movements are not appropriate… but for this (reason) I want to say we didn’t draw.”

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City led twice in the game and looked to have won it when Grealish came off the bench to make it 3-2 in the 81st minute.

Kulusevski’s goal gave Tottenham a point and City drew level for the third time in a row in the league, with Guardiola’s side three points behind league leaders Arsenal in third. Liverpool moved a point clear of second-placed City after beating Fulham 4-3.

Son Heung-min gave Tottenham the lead in the sixth minute, but he put the ball into his own net three minutes later before Phil Foden scored in the 31st minute.

Giovanni Lo Celso equalized in the 69th minute, before Grealish and Guluszewski scored twice.

City’s recent campaign has seen them winless in the league, conceding eight goals in three matches after a 4-4 draw with Chelsea and a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

“Football is sometimes about mistakes, but we’re still there,” Guardiola said. “After so many years we still have a feeling we want it (the title).”

Tottenham ended their recent three-game losing streak, which saw them drop to sixth in the table.

Coach Ange Postecoglou said: “We weren’t at our usual level in the first half and Manchester City could have been better than us in that period.” “They squandered a few chances, just like us last week to be honest.”

“We stayed there and the second half was better. We had more confidence and hope and it was frustrating for them. It’s easy to be impressed by the great effort of the players, but I think they showed great character. It’s important that they get a reward. A good reward is important.”

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Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
"Explorer. Problem solver. Certified reader. Incurable web expert. Subtly charming travel guru. General student. Twitter evangelist."

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