Pep Guardiola was involved in an angry exchange with Southampton’s Nathan Redmond following Raheem Sterling’s dramatic 96th-minute winner.
Sterling’s late strike restored Manchester City’s eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League but seconds later the City boss went face to face with Redmond as they left the pitch, furious at what he claimed were the visitors’ time-wasting tactics.
Guardiola sought to play down the episode, but admitted he had been told to calm down by ref Paul Tierney following his over-zealous celebrations of the last-gasp goal.
“I said ‘I apologise’ because I couldn’t control it,” said Guardiola. “I was so happy. I ran after Raheem but I’m not quick enough, but we were so happy.”
On his post-match confrontation with Redmond, which saw Guardiola grab him around the neck and twice put a hand on his chest, the City boss said: “I said to Redmond how good he is.
“Last season he destroyed us here, but today he couldn’t attack because he defended all the time.”
Guardiola then accused Southampton of time-wasting and claimed City were the only side that had tried to win the game.
“They came to defend, they were time-wasting after nine minutes,” said Guardiola. “They didn’t want to play. We were the only team who tried to win. We deserved it by far.”
Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino refuted Guardiola’s time-wasting claim and admitted his players were left crestfallen by conceding so late on to lose.
“I didn’t see too many actions to delay the game,” said Pellegrino. “I can’t say anything [about Guardiola’s celebrations].
“Every team and person celebrates however they want. It’s really frustrating for us but we have to congratulate the opponent and digest this pain.”
City went ahead through a Virgil van Dijk own goal, but levelled through Oriol Romeu, with Sterling having the final say with his late winner.
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