Guardiola contrite for touchline spat

LONDON • Pep Guardiola apologised to Burnley manager Sean Dyche for his behaviour after Manchester City equalised during their 4-1 FA Cup third-round victory.

City boss Guardiola gestured angrily towards Dyche, making a "yapping" gesture at his counterpart and the fourth official, as a furious row erupted between the pair on Saturday following Sergio Aguero's 56th-minute equaliser.

"I am sorry, I apologise. I didn't want to get out of control," he said.

Aguero's leveller came from a quickly taken Ilkay Gundogan free-kick which angered Burnley players, who thought that referee Graham Scott allowed the set piece to be taken before they were ready.

Guardiola later claimed his gestures were simply a request for Burnley to leave the officials alone, but it was an ugly scene and one that ended with fourth official Andy Haines ordering the Spaniard to return to his technical area.

"I said, 'Leave the referees please'," Guardiola revealed. "I think all the managers around the world have to control. If they (Burnley) were offended, I am sorry."

That flashpoint came after City trailed to Ashley Barnes' first-half goal. Aguero's brace, which came inside 94 seconds, plus further efforts from Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva, carried City through to the fourth round.

The game also saw David Silva return from Spain where he was tending to his prematurely-born son.

Guardiola revealed Silva was due to return to Valencia right after the game and would continue to "commute" between Spain and England while his son receives treatment.

Dyche dismissed any lingering ill feeling with Guardiola but was left angered by the officiating.

"Sometimes in football, the rule may be the rule but there's a common sense moment, we've just allowed it to be passed through, I'm bound to be aggrieved by that," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2018, with the headline 'Guardiola contrite for touchline spat'. Print Edition | Subscribe