Guardiola: Manchester City face amazing challenge to retain Premier League title

Guardiola: Manchester City face amazing challenge to retain Premier League title

Pep Guardiola feels Manchester City face an “amazing challenge” to retain the Premier League title after being on the receiving end of another controversial VAR call.

City boss Guardiola responded in a sarcastic manner having seen David Silva denied what appeared to be a clear second-half penalty in Sunday’s 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

A review of the incident took place but the outcome surprisingly backed the original decision of referee Andre Marriner.

The latest perceived injustice came a week after the champions had a last-gasp Gabriel Jesus goal disallowed for a contentious handball by Aymeric Laporte in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

Asked whether his side deserved a spot-kick for Jefferson Lerma’s challenge on Silva, Guardiola sardonically replied: “No, no, no. Penalty? No.

“It was clear hands last game, clear hands. A penalty? No, please.

“The challenge this season will be amazing for us after winning two back-to-back titles, the challenge will be great.”

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Replays showed Lerma stood on Silva’s foot when the visitors led 2-1, leaving the City captain writhing in pain on his 400th appearance for the club.

Sergio Aguero sealed the three points soon after the spot-kick controversy by scoring his second goal of the afternoon, with in-form Raheem Sterling claiming the other.

Guardiola, who also saw £63million record signing Rodri denied a possible penalty in the Spurs game, believes Professional Game Match Officials Limited need to explain VAR rulings, not him.

Questioned about the information he had received at VAR briefings, he responded: “Ask the VAR people, please. Don’t ask me.”

Meanwhile, City expect Brazil striker Jesus to be sidelined until after next month’s international break.

The 22-year-old was a notable absentee on the south coast having sustained a hamstring problem in training.

Bournemouth potentially have more serious injury concerns after Charlie Daniels was carried off on a stretcher with a knee issue.

Substitute Harry Wilson, who replaced wing-back Daniels in the opening period, halved the deficit for the hosts with a stunning 25-yard free-kick.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe faces an anxious wait to discover the extent of Daniels’ fresh setback, which came in his second game back from a previous knee injury.

“I know it’s potentially serious,” said Howe.

“To see a player go off on a stretcher like that – in the amount of pain that he was – you fear for the worst.

“Until we get a proper diagnosis, it’s difficult to give you definites but we’re concerned for him.”

- Press Association

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