February 21, 2024

Erling Haaland could face the English Football Association’s sanctions after his reaction to a ‘controversial’ refereeing decision during Manchester City’s 3-3 home Premier League draw with Tottenham on Sunday.

The prolific striker vented frustration on social media after the referee halted play as teammate Jack Grealish raced towards goal late on. Haaland had been fouled earlier but regained possession to tee up Grealish before the whistle.

Initially, referee Simon Hooper signalled he was playing the advantage, but then blew his whistle when Grealish looked set to race clear on goal.

Reacting, Haaland posted “Wtf” on X regarding the pivotal call, which prompted a furious touchline outburst and earned him a yellow card. ESPN reports that per the governing body’s rules against improper comments about match officials, the post risks FA sanctions.

Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou conceded afterward that his team “got away with one” from the pivotal call. But Guardiola said the incident wasn’t decisive, despite defending his angry striker’s response.

“It’s normal. His reaction was the same for 10 players. The rules are you cannot talk with the referees,” the manager noted.

He argued that, by the letter of the law, many more City players should have been dismissed for their reactions. “I make mistakes, players make mistakes. When Erling goes down, the ref said play on and after making the pass, he stopped the game,” Guardiola added.

The Premier League champions dropped points at home for only the second time this season

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