Champions League

Guardiola still has faith in VAR despite Champions League controversy

2019-02-21 07:57
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Gelsenkirchen - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he had no problem with the use of VAR as his side came from 2-1 behind with a man down to beat Schalke in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Schalke were awarded two first-half penalties, the first of which was given after a lengthy delay for VAR to be consulted for a handball by Nicolas Otamendi.

The Argentine centre-back was then sent off for a second booking after the break, but City fought back with late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling securing a vital first-leg lead.

"I think so, they are two penalties, I trust VAR," said Guardiola. "I have arguments sometimes but not this time. They are both penalties."

However, Guardiola warned his side will have to drastically improve if they are to win the competition for the first time after letting a Schalke side languishing in 14th in the Bundesliga back into the game despite Sergio Aguero's early opener.

"It was a great result. We gave them two penalties, we gave them a red card and in this competition that is not too good. We are still not ready to fight for the later stages, but the result is good," added Guardiola.

"We played good, but still we lost some easy balls which we are not allowed to do in this competition.

"We played with incredible personality. We gave two goals when they did absolutely nothing."

Sane's sumptuous free-kick that swung the tie back in City's favour five minutes from time was doubly hard for Schalke to take as the German international came through their academy before joining the Premier League champions in 2016.

"I was a little bit sad for Schalke, because the atmosphere was amazing like it always is," said Sane.

"The way they defended made it difficult. At the end we did it, we scored three goals away -- that was the most important thing.

"You can see the will is a lot, we never give up, we always want to keep fighting."

 

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