EPL

Guardiola admits Everton should have had a penalty for Rodri handball

By Sports Desk February 28, 2022

Pep Guardiola admitted Everton should have had a penalty for handball against Rodri in Manchester City's win at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Phil Foden struck eight minutes from time to seal a 1-0 victory for the leaders that moved them six points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Everton were denied the chance for a late equaliser from the penalty spot when neither referee Paul Tierney nor VAR felt Rodri should be punished for the ball striking his arm in the City box.

After the match, Guardiola felt the decision likely went in his side's favour due to offside in the build-up, but the Premier League clarified that the penalty was not awarded simply because there was insufficient evidence to show the ball struck Rodri below the level of his armpit, which is used as a cut-off point for handball.

Everton reportedly lodged a complaint with the league over recent refereeing decisions after boss Frank Lampard was left furious following the City defeat.

While Guardiola dismissed the idea that the decision could have lasting consequences for the season, he accepted Everton were unfortunate.

Speaking ahead of City's FA Cup clash with Championship side Peterborough United, Guardiola said: "Can this episode affect a whole season? I will review a lot of incidents. It looks offside for Richarlison; if it's not offside, it's a penalty."

Guardiola's men meet Peterborough on Tuesday aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the fifth time since he took over as manager in 2016.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen will miss out through injury, but Oleksandr Zinchenko is set to play after being an unused substitute against Everton.

Guardiola said it would be a good chance for the Ukraine international to "show the reason why he is here", adding he was a "magnificent player" who has remained committed amid the crisis in his homeland following Russia's invasion.

The City manager also paid tribute to Marcelo Bielsa, who left as Leeds United boss on Sunday following a dreadful run of results that culminated in a 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham.

"I'm so sorry for him," he said. "His legacy is there in the Leeds city, the club, the players. His influence is massive.

"Unfortunately, the manager goes by results and, lately, it was not good. The game he has played for three, four seasons in Leeds was spectacular to watch and of course, I wish him all the best.

"It will be a loss to Leeds and his players. As a person, he's not different to anyone. Results dictate our future."

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