Man City are treated harshly by referees, believes Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has complained about Manchester City’s treatment by referees (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)
Pep Guardiola has complained about Manchester City’s treatment by referees (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Pep Guardiola feels his Manchester City side are being dealt with more harshly by referees than other teams.

Yet the City manager will not complain to the Premier League having been angered by the recent charges imposed on the club by the competition for alleged breaches of financial rules.

Guardiola revealed his frustration about officials as he prepared his side for the visit of Newcastle on Saturday.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag branded Newcastle as an “annoying” side with a tendency for time-wasting in the build-up to the Carabao Cup final last week.

When asked about this in his pre-match press conference, Guardiola suggested his team were more likely to be punished than the Magpies, referring to a recent booking for goalkeeper Ederson during last month’s win at Arsenal.

Guardiola said: “It depends on the referee but I’m pretty sure the (time-wasting) yellow will be for Ederson.

“How many thousand million games do teams come to Etihad Stadium and waste time for the keepers?

“Twenty seconds every time – the goal kick, long ball, long ball and nothing happened. Absolutely nothing happened.

“And after we go to Arsenal away, with a team that wants to be active to play and we get a yellow card.

“That is why I’m far away (from making) comments about the referees because I don’t care one second. They can do whatever they want.”

This comes after Guardiola complained about yellow cards for Rico Lewis and Erling Haaland in games against Leeds and Everton respectively over Christmas. While not necessarily critical of the bookings themselves, he felt similar offences by the opponents were not being dealt with as severely.

Guardiola, however, said this was not an issue he wanted to raise with the Premier League as he simply does not want to communicate with that organisation.

City were charged with more than 100 breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations by the Premier League last month and Guardiola feels any contact is better left to other club officials or lawyers.

“I don’t talk with the Premier League, we are accused by them,” said Guardiola. “No (contact with) referees, no Premier League, no care.

“How many times after press conference do I complain about referees or make an appointment? I don’t even know before games who the referee is going to be and I don’t talk with them before or after.

“And now we can’t talk about the Premier League or whatever. We are busy defending with our lawyers. I don’t have time to spend time with that.”