Guardiola on VAR: Deja vu! They have to fix it!

Gabriel Jesus had a late winner ruled out by VAR, leading to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to criticise the use of the technology.

Pep Guardiola is unhappy with the discrepancies in VAR, joking that it was taking a break during the incident.   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola said the use of VAR has to change after Manchester City dramatically drew 2-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

Gabriel Jesus seemed to have struck an injury-time winner for the champion on Saturday but a VAR check ruled Aymeric Laporte had handled the ball in the build-up.

For City, there were clear parallels with the Champions League quarterfinal against Spurs in April, where Raheem Sterling's late winner was also cancelled by VAR as Mauricio Pochettino's side progressed on away goals.

RELATED | VAR rules out Jesus' winner as Man City draws 2-2 against Spurs

Guardiola feels changes have to be made to the way VAR is used in football, particularly when it comes to applying updated rules such as hand ball and goalkeepers needing to stay on their lines for penalties.

"Deja vu. I thought we left that situation in Tottenham in the Champions League last season. But it is the same," Guardiola said to Sky Sports. "The referee and VAR disallow it. It's the second time [it's happened] - it's tough. It's honestly tough but it's the way it is.

"They have to fix it. The whistle inside matches now isn't quite clear. But they believe it's hands. Sometimes it's not - against [Spurs striker Fernando] Llorente in the Champions League.

"It was incredible it wasn't a penalty in the first half [when Erik Lamela tussled with Rodri in the box] but VAR said it wasn't and then at the end they did [disallow Jesus' goal]."

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Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino engrossed in conversation during the VAR ruling.   -  Getty Images

 

Expanding on his theme in a post-match news conference, Guardiola added: "It was hands for the Llorente goal in the quarter-finals in the Champions League.

"At Wolves it was hands, but [Andreas] Christensen in Liverpool vs Chelsea [the UEFA Super Cup] was not hands. And then the goalkeepers must stay on their lines in penalties, and the last penalty Adrian was not on the line. Always we will have these types of situations, so that's what it is, accept it."

Guardiola and opposite number Pochettino were engrossed in conversation during the VAR ruling and the Spurs boss was more accepting of the technology's use.

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"I'm very pleased with a point and but also knowing we need to improve," Pochettino told BBC Sport. "We are in a process where we need to improve in all areas and the team is going to improve step by step, but we need time.

"It was an unbelievable goal [Lucas' equaliser]. Always when you play a team like Manchester City, you have to play your best. We need to accept that [VAR]. I was a little bit critical of VAR but now we have to accept the rules. Now it benefits us. No doubt it won't benefit us at other times. It's a rule we need to accept."

'VAR was taking a coffee'

Guardiola was also swift to point out the discrepancy, joking VAR was taking a break during the incident. 

"In the first half, the penalty? Ask the two referees around the corner. Then go to London to ask the VAR," he said in a news conference.

"Go to London, ask the big bosses. I'm not VAR. They make an example to Premier League managers, which I saw. But what can I say? It was a penalty. Lamela goes over Rodri, and it was a penalty. Maybe in that moment, VAR was taking a coffee."

All good with Aguero

Jesus replaced Sergio Aguero, who appeared to argue with Guardiola as he left the pitch, but City's boss shrugged off any suggestion of a serious dispute.

"He believed that I was unhappy with him for the goal we conceded," Guardiola said.

"But it was just the fact that I wanted movement in that moment and Aguero could not do that. But it's part of our game, it's emotions and we talked after and talked during. I love him a lot."