Pep Guardiola insisted that the reaction of his Manchester City players toward referee Simon Hooper was human nature after the FA charged the Premier League champions for failing to control their players.
Hooper decided against giving advantage when Jack Grealish bore down on goal in the dying moments of Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Tottenham.
Erling Haaland, with his eyes bulging, and Ruben Dias were among those to crowd the referee and City are facing a fine of more than £75,000 for a third breach in under a year.
Guardiola claimed that he doesn’t know how league officials can stop instinctive reactions in emotionally charged situations but maintained that his club do respect officials.
The City boss made a point of not criticising the referee afterwards, while club officials have remained tight-lipped on the incident.
The FA charged Manchester City for failing to control their players against Tottenham
Pep Guardiola defended his players saying their reaction on the day was ‘human instinct’
‘I would like to know from the Premier League or whoever, how should we react in that situation?’ said City boss Guardiola.
‘How should the players react? I’m sorry, we lost… we cannot talk, stay home and nothing happened. It’s a human instinct.
‘I understand my players completely. Right now the players will not react in that way, but in that moment someone tell me.’
City, who travel to Aston Villa tonight after three straight draws in the league, have until Thursday to respond to the charge. And while City have not made representation to the PGMOL, Guardiola believes remorse should go both ways.
‘If they want to fine, we’ll be fined,’ he added. ‘It’s fine. I promise you, all of us, if you are in football and it happened, you would react in that way.
‘It happened 20 years ago, 40 years ago, it will happen in 40 years. Of course you have to respect the referees. Tell me one player or manager who doesn’t respect the referees. Tell me one. But it is emotions. It is feelings.
‘OK, it is a lot. The referee knows what he’s done. They didn’t apologise, we can’t apologise. I don’t understand how it should be different.
Man City were furious that advantage wasn’t played when Jack Grealish was through on goal