Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has disagreed with the decision to send off Raheem Sterling at the end of his team’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
The England international, just like last week against Everton, popped up with a late goal to help the Cityzens over the line in a tough encounter.
While Man City could only record a 1-1 draw against the Toffees, Sterling’s intervention on Saturday had the effect of securing all three points in a game that seemed destined to end as another draw.
The euphoria of the extra-time goal swept across the Vitality Stadium and into the fans, some of whom encroached on the pitch in celebration.
All goals & highlights | B’Mouth 1-2 Man City | EPL 26/08/17
[arve url=”https://streamable.com/s/2v4k8/wejuso” /]
Sterling, awash with joy, ran right into the crowd, and even though the game was practically over at that point, referee Mike Dean was unwilling to overlook that mistake.
The experienced official rigidly applied the rule pertaining to going into the crowd, which specifies that the errant player be booked.
Sterling red card | B’Mouth 1-2 Man City | EPL 26/08/17
[arve url=”https://streamable.com/s/2mrk0/uhgdsd” /]
Since the 22-year-old was already on a yellow card, Dean swiftly gave him his marching orders before immediately blowing the whistle to end the game.
The ref was well within his rights, no doubt, but it was a decision that left many, especially City cans, burning with indignation.
Guardiola was not pleased either.
Tell me why!
In his post-match reaction, Man City coach Pep Guardiola decried Mike Dean’s decision, stating in no uncertain terms that he felt it was incorrect.
“I do not understand the decision. Hopefully they can call me and explain why. I can speak after winning,” he said.
“I am talking about the decision, I am not the referee. It is what it is. We gave them the ball back but the defender did not move.
“He went there to celebrate, then he came back, so I don’t know what happened. I would like to know because now Raheem won’t be able to play against Liverpool.
“We cannot celebrate our feelings with our fans? Tell me the reason why. Maybe we should play with no fans.”
The Spanish trainer’s other bone of contention with the officials their failure to send off Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake. The defender had seemingly denied Gabriel Jesus a clear goalscoring opportunity by fouling him in the first half.
“Definitely [Ake should have seen red], and I’m saying that after winning,” he added.
“If we lost, I would say nothing about it, but after winning I can say that he was the last man, it was a clear chance and we would’ve had 11 men against 10.”
City fans have their say on Dean
Also on referee Dean’s case were fans of the Manchester club, although a few were able to see the humorous side of the incident.
1 - Raheem Sterling has been given a red card for the first time in his Premier League career (162 apps). Overdone.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 26, 2017
Mike Dean just like Bobby Madley had a very poor game. Ake should have been sent off in first half, instead sent Sterling off unfairly.— City Chief ️ (@City_Chief) August 26, 2017
Lmaoooo... no sending off for a wild lunge at Gabriel Jesus but book Sterling for celebrating.— 7 (@Floyd_Stunner) August 26, 2017
Mike Dean's performance in that game was anything but Sterling— Uncle Joey (@BoutsWHU) August 26, 2017
Can we talk about how Raheem Sterling has saved our season? Clutch goal vs Everton and now Bournemouth. Guy is world class isn't he.— Leo (@DareToGoater) August 26, 2017
PEP & STERLING PRE-MATCH— Honest Fans TV (@HonestFansTV) August 26, 2017
"When you score today, go run into the crowd & get yourself sent off so Aguero gets a start next week" pic.twitter.com/lfsIXxAVHU
Up next for Man City is Liverpool after the international break when, unless a successful appeal is lodged, they will be without Sterling.