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Guardiola: Refs, VARs should be more ‘humble’

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Guardiola: Refs, VARs should be more ‘humble’

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Pep Guardiola says referees and VARs are in danger of taking centre stage while encouraging officials to “step back” following the controversy during Liverpool‘s defeat to Tottenham on Saturday.

Premier League officiating is under the spotlight after Luis Díaz‘s goal for Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was incorrectly ruled out for offside after a miscommunication between VAR Darren England and on-field referee Simon Hooper.

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Guardiola says he can understand Liverpool’s outrage and says referees should be more “humble” and allow the focus to stay on the players.

“They will have to find a system where the main roles are the players and the game itself,” Guardiola said.

“In all the countries, not just here. The referees and the VARs are the leading roles. And the Oscar goes to… they have to make a step back.

“It’s the players. Some games, be more humble and leave the players to do what they have to do, and they will be better. They will be better. I understand completely how upset Liverpool must be in that case.”

Guardiola was speaking ahead of the Champions League trip to RB Leipzig on Wednesday when City will aim to bounce back following back-to-back defeats to Newcastle and Wolves.

City have only lost three games in a row once during Guardiola’s spell at the club — in April 2018 — but have never won against RB Leipzig at Red Bull Arena after a 2-1 defeat in the group stage in 2021 and a 1-1 draw in the round of 16 last season.

“[We know] how intense they are, how they are a typical Red Bull team with Marco Rose, always the same manager doing really good things,” said Guardiola.

“How they attack the space, with a lot of people in the middle. We try to go because it is a huge step for us. If we are able to get a good result we take a big step forward towards qualifying for the next round.”

City could have Bernardo Silva and John Stones back after both trained on Tuesday morning and made the trip to Germany.

Stones hasn’t played since picking up a hip injury in the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal in August while Silva hasn’t featured since the 3-1 win over Red Star Belgrade in City’s first Champions League group game.

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