Pep Guardiola has debunked accusations that he disrespected Liverpool’s Kostas Tsimikas by celebrating in front of him as Manchester City thrashed Liverpool on Saturday.
Guardiola was ecstatic after Julian Alvarez cancelled out Salah’s goal as his players played a superb flowing game in the first half.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach jumped up and pumped both fists towards the crowd as he celebrated Alvarez’s equaliser. This happened just as substitute Tsimikas was on his way to warm up.
Guardiola in excitement turned to face the defender and celebrated in front of him, but the coach was disgusted after the game that the celebration was seen as disrespectful.
“Ah, come on,” the Spaniard said frustratingly when a journalist talked about the celebration.
“I’m so sorry. Speak with Tsimikas. Speak with the others about a lack of respect. Ask him if I lack respect. I celebrate the goal.”
“I celebrate with my son on the floor. I come here and I said, ‘Oh the goal was nice, isn’t it? That’s all. I’m so sorry if the TV… You think it shows a lack of respect?”
Guardiola apologized when a reporter replied and said it was in fact disrespectful, Pep said: “Okay, sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Rio Ferdinand, BT Sport Pundit, was really impressed with Tsimikas’ self control when talking about the incident at half time.
“That celebration there, I don’t know how Tsimikas hasn’t pushed Pep Guardiola out of the way,” the Manchester United legend said.
“He (Guardiola) seems happy. He can see it’s a fantastic team goal, really well worked from Man City, and he couldn’t contain himself.”
Manchester City had a better second half as they completed the turnaround after Salah’s goal. Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish scored in the second half to finish the game 4-1.
This victory has added more pressure on league leaders Arsenal who later thrashed Leeds United 4-1 at the Emirates stadium on Saturday.
While Guardiola was explaining his celebration, he used the opportunity to praise his players for their performance against Liverpool and for closing up the gap at the top.
The Spaniard claimed that the performance was one of the best he has seen from his players since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium.
The gap between Arsenal and Manchester City was 5 points after City win over Liverpool, but after Arsenal’s win over Leeds United, the gap has returned to eight points. This shows that the gunners are not looking like they will drop any points going forward.
Pep Guardiola’s team have now won seven games in a row in all competitions and are still chasing three titles: The Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
Manchester City will face Southampton next Saturday before they go on to face Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the Champions League on 11th April.
Though the supposed celebration seemed more like mocking Tsimikas after the goal, in Pep Guardiola’s defence, when you’re celebrating a good goal, your countenance might be thwarted.
You might end up celebrating with your opponents at that moment without realising they are your opponents.
What do you think about Pep Guardiola’s celebration? Do you think it’s worth all the fuss that it is garnering in the media right now?