Guardiola does not ‘care’ about referee

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May 25, 2021
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    Pep Guardiola pointing to the officials in anger.Pep Guardiola argues with officials over Manchester City's disallowed goal in the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool in 2018

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he "could not care less" that Antonio Mateu Lahoz will referee the Champions League final on Saturday despite his history with the official.

    The Spaniard sent Guardiola off in the Champions League quarter-final defeat against Liverpool in 2018.

    After the match, Guardiola said the official "likes to be different".

    But, speaking before Saturday's final with Chelsea, Guardiola said he had not thought about Lahoz for "one second".

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    "I could not care less. I am so confident in my team," the Spanish boss said. "You cannot imagine how confident I am in my team and what we have to do."

    Leroy Sane's disallowed goal against Liverpool sparked the clash at Etihad Stadium that led to Guardiola being sent to the stands and the same referee upset the City manager in the 2017 game with Monaco when Sergio Aguero was booked for diving.

    "He's a referee who likes to feel different, he's special. When everybody sees things, he is going to see the opposite. It's too much to send me off because I didn't say any wrong word," said Guardiola at the time.

    City face Chelsea in Porto on Saturday, having lost twice against Thomas Tuchel's side in the last six weeks, including the FA Cup semi-final – but Guardiola is not reading anything into past results.

    "It's a different competition, new game," he said.

    Guardiola will have the option of playing midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, after the German declared himself fit and "feeling good" after a knee injury that saw him miss City's final game of the season.

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