Pep Guardiola has apologised to Swansea City after dubious decisions enabled Manchester City to overcome the Championship outfit with a 3-2 victory in the FA Cup quarter finals on Saturday.
Swansea stormed into a 2-0 lead at the Liberty Stadium before a late rally from City turned the tide. A wrongly-awarded penalty saw the visitors draw level, before Sergio Aguero headed the winner from an offside position.
"If it's not a penalty, I'm sorry."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 16, 2019
"If it's offside, I'm sorry."
"VAR is not here, I don't like it."
An apologetic Pep Guardiola gives his view on Man City's controversial win over Swansea
Guardiola praised his side's battling qualities after the game, but also admitted that the absence of VAR cameras was a factor in Man City's goals. As quoted by The Sun, the City boss said: "If it was not a penalty and if our third goal was offside, then I am sorry.
"But you have to ask the authorities why VAR is not here today. We asked for it at the start of the season but we haven't got it. They have it all around Europe but here they have it in some games and not in others and you have to ask why that is the case.
"I don't like to lose when the decisions are wrong and the referees must be helped. It's better to take three minutes to get the decision right than ask the referee to make an instant decision.
Swansea 2-3 Man City - got to have VAR in all games or none. Pen was never a pen and winner was offside— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) March 16, 2019
"But if you look at this game you will see that we played incredibly well. The amount of actions, crosses and shots and had - we deserved to win this game by far."
Guardiola also admitted he is concerned by the prospect of future problems with pitch invaders after a fan ran onto the pitch during Manchester City's clash with Swansea on Saturday.
The supporter was involved in an incident with City star Oleksandr Zinchenko during the FA Cup quarter final clash at the Liberty Stadium.
Ashley Young on pitch invasions: “That’s the third time a fan has managed to get on the pitch (this weekend). What if they are carrying something? The players will be in danger. It’s definitely something the FA, the Premier League and FIFA have got to do something about." pic.twitter.com/j2MIh3Y4ZW— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 11, 2019
As reported by Sky Sports, three individuals were arrested and held in custody by police after two separate incidents had occurred during the game, apparently involving two Swansea fans and one Man City fan. Guardiola admitted after the game: "It's happened a few times lately and it's a worry because in the future we could have problems.
"It's not nice but thankfully nothing happened this time."
A statement from South Wales Police match commander Superintendent Steve Jones read: "The safety of supporters, players, officials and those who work these games is paramount.
‘They need proper security!’— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) March 11, 2019
Vinnie Jones says football clubs need to hire professional security to protect their players at football matches, following the three pitch invasions at the weekend. pic.twitter.com/gbKs8mKhCd
"Those who invade the playing area are committing a criminal offence, will be dealt with robustly and could face lengthy bans from all football matches.
"We will continue to work with the football club to prevent and deter this unacceptable behaviour from a very small minority continuing."
Issues with supporters invading the field of play have increased in recent weeks. Seven people were also arrested during Bournemouth's 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Saturday, after visiting supporters entered the pitch to celebrate Matt Ritchie's late equaliser for Newcastle.
“Senseless pitch invasions.”— Tommy Longworth (@Tommy_Longworth) March 16, 2019
There’s a huge difference between celebrating a last minute goal with the players of your team and running onto the the pitch and assaulting a player like the idiot at Birmingham last week. Don’t let one man shame everyone. https://t.co/Mmg6psYNJG
The most recent events came just a week after Birmingham supporter Paul Mitchell was jailed for entering the field at St. Andrew's before punching Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish during the visitors' 1-0 victory in the Championship.