Pep Guardiola refuses to blame referee as Manchester City drop points at Wolves

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola refused to criticise referee Martin Atkinson after Willy Boly’s handball goal denied the champions at Wolves.

The defender turned Joao Moutinho’s cross in with his hand and City needed Aymeric Laporte to rescue a 1-1 draw.

Boly’s goal will also increase calls for the introduction of VAR in the Premier League while Sergio Aguero and David Silva had penalty claims rejected on Saturday.

“I didn’t see it. I’m not the referee, never will be,” said Guardiola on Boly’s goal and City’s penalty shouts.

When asked if VAR – yet to be introduced in the Premier League – would have helped City win and cancelled out Boly’s opener, he added: “I don’t work for the Premier League.”

Aguero twice hit the woodwork and Rui Patricio turned Raheem Sterling’s 25-yard half-volley onto the bar.

Raul Jimenez also had a first-half goal disallowed for Wolves, who took the lead through Boly in the 57th minute before Laporte headed in Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick 12 minutes later.

“The game was expected, I’m not surprised. I’m satisfied with how many chances we created,” said Guardiola.

“I don’t have many regrets. There was a lack of rhythm sometimes but in general I’m satisfied with the performance.

“They have an excellent manager and what they have done in the Championship is excellent.

“Some points we could do better but you have to give credit to the opponents.

“We dropped two points but nothing will change after three Premier League games. It’s a long road.”

Nuno Espirito Santo, right, was pleased with his side's performance
Nuno Espirito Santo, right, was pleased with his side’s performance (Nick Potts/PA)

They have drawn two and lost one of their opening three games but have impressed in every outing and boss Nuno Espirito Santo was happy to take their fortunate opener.

He said: “Last week it (a deflection against Leicester) happened against us. This is football, it’s what we have to be prepared for.

“It doesn’t matter how you score, the referee is there to judge, you have to just be ready.

“You get a goal, it’s about how you react to that. Don’t think it’s luck or unlucky, focus on your tasks and be prepared for the next action.

“It was a good performance overall. We have to be cautious and realising what you have, the opposition is the best team and the champions of the Premier League.

“It was a good game and, if there’s a but, after we score we should have managed a couple of minutes better.

“It’s a growing process, one more to work on and improve for next week.”

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