Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has escaped any sanctions from the Football Association for turning himself into the Meme Lord during Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Guardiola’s transgressions included waving two fingers toward high heaven to indicate that Michael Oliver and the VAR had twice ignored potential handball calls on Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold…
"TWICE" pic.twitter.com/Bb0VuSddkh— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) November 10, 2019
Followed by a vigorous handshake with Oliver after the final whistle, which was accompanied by a “THANK YOU SO MUCH” that was definitely not in jest, according to Guardiola…
Which mate is as sarcastic as Pep Guardiola? pic.twitter.com/euFqju6mdv— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) November 10, 2019
“No, it was not sarcastic,” Guardiola said. “It was: ‘Thank you so much.’ I said the same thing after the Tottenham game. ‘Thank you so much.’ I go over to the referees and my colleagues and I say ‘good luck’ all the time.”
Everyone suspected that Guardiola’s post-match comments would be a hellstorm of biblical proportions, but the Spaniard refrained from speaking about the officiating — asking the media to direct all questions to refereeing boss Mike Riley — while praising his players for a spirited performance at Anfield.
Pep Guardiola's post game reaction. pic.twitter.com/YZDqCzs7V5— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) November 10, 2019
The ultimate punishment for the hyper-competitive perfectionist that is Guardiola is the current sight of City lying fourth in the table and nine points behind Liverpool.
Guardiola and Reds manager Jürgen Klopp quickly came face-to-face again on Monday at the UEFA Coaches’ Conference in Switzerland, which led to a pretty funny moment between the two.
"Pep Guardiola is coming!"Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left confused when a reporter asked him if he had spoken to the Manchester City boss at a UEFA coaches' conference... pic.twitter.com/En6OFiWNef
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 12, 2019
But Klopp echoed his rival’s sentiments at the conference regarding a need for improvement from the system.
“VAR can be improved; it can,” Klopp said. “It will never be 100 percent accurate, everybody knows that. But there are a couple of things that are not right. With VAR, handball, offside, it is clear we have to keep on improving. There were good ideas from UEFA about how we can sort things from the referees, so everybody is in on it. There is still space for mistakes. These things are done by human beings and none of us is perfect. Nobody is asking for perfection, you just want to have the right decisions.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Citizens following November’s international break. Next up is a home match against third place Chelsea, which has won six straight Premier League games.