Pep Guardiola has played down an incident involving Sergio Aguero after the Manchester City striker disputed a decision with official Sian Massey-Ellis in Saturday’s match against Arsenal.
Aguero was pictured placing his hand on Massey-Ellis’ shoulder after the official awarded Arsenal a throw-in during the first half of City’s 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.
The incident was shared widely on social media, with Aguero’s conduct under scrutiny, but Guardiola defended the actions of the 32-year-old.
“Come on guys,” Guardiola said after the match. “Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life. Look for problems in other situations not in this one.”
Sky Sports pundit Micah Richard said Aguero “should know better”, with the former City defender also praising Massey-Ellis’ handling of the situation after the official raised her hand in reaction to the touch before motioning for the striker to walk away.
“I just think he didn’t mean to do it really,” Richards said. “You’ve got to respect the officials. I think she deals with the situation really well. He’ll know better than that.
“I don’t think we need to go over the top on it. He knows not to be touching the officials, it doesn’t look good.
Richards added: “It’s just not a good look. We don’t need to do that, you start going down a road you don’t want to go down – he should know better than that.”
Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan was critical of Aguero’s actions when referencing the incident on Twitter.
She said: “Who does Aguero think he is? Completely unacceptable.”
Aguero was playing his first match for City since June after recovering from a serious knee injury.
The Argentine was one of four changes to Guardiola’s starting line-up as Raheem Sterling’s first-half goal was enough hand City all three points against Arsenal.
The win lifted City up to ninth in the Premier League table.