Guardiola explains his sending off

Tim Goode/PA via AP

Pep Guardiola was sent to the stands after a dominant first half that could’ve seen Manchester City up 2-0 or more.

The more is subjective, but the would-be second goal was called back before it hit the scoreboard when controversial referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz blew his whistle.

[ MORE: Match recap | Five things ]

Guardiola had already been critical of Felix Brych’s job as HR in the first leg, and it’s safe to say he’s not a fan of Lahoz’s from their time together in Spain.

Guardiola said Lahoz gave him his marching orders for simple criticism that was not insulting, though it’s a long bridge to cross to take him at his word (even if Lahoz clearly was comfortable being a big part of the leg).

What did he say to him? From the BBC:

“I said it was a goal when the ball was passed to Leroy Sane. That’s why he sent me off. It would have been different to go in 2-0. It’s different when Salah’s goal at Anfield is offside. It’s different when Gabriel Jesus‘ goal at Anfield is offside.

“In this competition the teams are so equal and the influence of refereeing decisions is so important. We’ll go again next season. Big congratulations to Liverpool, Hopefully they can represent England well in the semi-final.”

Salah’s “offside” just past the halfway line on the opening goal of the first leg was razor thin if off, but Jesus’ goal surely seemed a wrongful denial. The Sane goal looked onside today, but Guardiola is correct that City didn’t finish well enough to reverse an awful first leg which was most crucially lacking an own goal.