Pep Guardiola denies sarcastic intent in message to Michael Oliver after Liverpool 3-1 Man City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has this evening moved to shut down the suggestion that his ‘thank you’ to referee Michael Oliver on the back of his side’s defeat to Liverpool was delivered with a sarcastic tone.

Liverpool best City

Jurgen Klopp’s table-toppers welcomed City to Anfield a short time ago, for a crucial clash in the Premier League title race.

The hosts headed into proceedings aware that a victory would see them move 8 points clear atop the English top-flight table, and a hefty 9 points clear of the champions.

Liverpool were also unbeaten in the Premier League before today, having secured wins in all but one of their previous 11 fixtures.

And, when all was said and done on Merseyside, the domestic dominance of the Reds continued, in a 3-1 win.

Goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, in the end, proved telling.

Bernardo Silva did manage to find the net for City ten minutes from time, but the attacker’s strike eventually proved little more than a consolation.

‘Thank you so much’

Liverpool’s victory, though, did not come without its controversies.

The home side’s opener came just moments after Manchester City were denied what they felt should have been a stonewall penalty, following a Trent Alexander-Arnold handball in the Liverpool box.

Pep Guardiola reacted furiously to the incident, with the Spaniard having also been left perplexed by a number of further decisions over the course of the clash.

This eventually resulted in what appeared to be an intentionally-sarcastic message on the part of the Man City boss towards referee Michael Oliver following the full-time whistle.

Guardiola shook the hand of Oliver and both linesmen, whilst repeating ‘thank you so much’:

Footage of the incident can be seen below:

‘Not sarcastic’

The Spaniard was therefore inevitably questioned on his actions during a post-match interview this evening.

Guardiola, however, point-blank rejected the notion that his message to Oliver was intended to be ironic, assuring that he thanks officials in such a manner on a weekly basis:

‘It was not sarcastic. I say thank you so much all the time. I said the same at Tottenham game at home – all the time I go to referees I say thank you so much.’

Quotes via the Telegraph

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