Pep Guardiola has defended his touchline celebrations during Manchester City’s win over Liverpool Saturday.
The Blues won 4-1 at the Etihad thanks to goals from Julian Alvarez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish. But it was Alvarez’s equaliser in the 27th minute that sparked the peculiar jubilant scenes from Guardiola, who seemed to celebrate in the face of Kostas Tsimikas, before shaking the hand of Arthur Melo, with both LIverpool players making their way back to the bench.
Rio Ferdinand said in the BT Sport studio that he was surprised Tsimikas didn’t ‘push’ the City manager, but Guardiola was surprised at the media reaction to his touchline mannerisms. He said he did not feel it was disrespectful, before sarcastically apologising in his post-match press conference.
“I was happy and I said how nice our goal was, that was all,” the City boss explained after the game.” Asked if it was an attempt at humour, Guardiola replied: “Of course, come on.
“No, come on. I’m so sorry. Speak with Tsimikas if I lack respect. I celebrate the goal the way I do with my son - I said ‘the goal was nice’. That’s all. I’m so sorry,” he added sarcastically.
Meanwhile, Guardiola also praised Grealish’s display and likened his performance to the sort he used to regularly put in over Aston Villa, displays which made him a £100m player.
“All season I’ve been really really pleased. This is the Jack Aston Villa fans know him really well. Nothing changes, we are doing what we are doing in the previous seasons. But it’s just to believe I am part of that, I can be here. Now he believes completely.
“He had more minutes in the beginning but the way he behaves when he wasn’t playing at the beginning was exceptional. We are so satisfied for the performance - not just today he was amazing. I liked the standing ovation, he deserved it. It’s not just that, it’s all season he was playing well.”