Pep Guardiola takes dig at Mikel Arteta after Man City players rage over refereeing mistake

It was a ridiculous decision, in fairness, but Pep refused to become the next meme.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 4th December 2023

Pep Guardiola aimed a surprise jibe at his former assistant coach turned Arsenal manager following Manchester City’s frustrating draw against Spurs, joking that he wouldn’t make a “Mikel Arteta comment” after a huge refereeing blunder over the weekend.

The Man City head coach was one of many left visibly incensed by referee Simon Hooper’s on-field decision this past Sunday after the Premier League official blew a very late whistle whilst Jack Grealish was through on goal to pull the game back for a foul despite having already waved play on.

With the foul being committed against Erling Haaland, who got up almost immediately and earned the home side the advantage, the Norwegian number nine was left utterly furious when he turned to hear Hooper’s whistle blow after he had gotten back up and the pass to Grealish had already been made.

With Mateo Kovačić, Rúben Dias and Haaland all surrounding the ref, the lattermost being pictured swearing and physically pulling his hair out as his manager looked equally fuming and confused on the touchline, the Catalan coach decided to dig at a famous Arteta clip in his post-match interview.

You can watch the clip of Arteta that Pep is referring to HERE.

The 52-year-old was referencing a well-known video of Arteta in which he labelled VAR awarding a penalty to Newcastle against the Gunners last season “embarrassing” and “a disgrace”, which has gone on to become a widely-used meme online.


Ushering the reporter to move to the “next question” and resisting the urge to express his own anger, he simply explained that he couldn’t understand how the ref came to his decision.

Speaking to BBC Sport Manchester, he went on to admit, “Sometimes I lose my mind about the referees” but added that they are simply “always making mistakes” and that he’s sure “everyone enjoyed the game”. The neutrals, for sure — less so amongst Blues.


One of those who clearly couldn’t let it go after the fact was City’s star striker, who took to social media and reposted a clip of the sequence of play in real-time along with a simple one-word caption: “Wtf”.

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Although the footage itself has now been pulled down from the site, both this along with the reaction from Haaland and his teammates on the pitch could result in charges from the FA for failure to control the players.

Answering once again after being asked about the social media post from the media, Guardiola said it was perfectly understandable for him to be disappointed with the circumstances and might have been sent off if he continued to remonstrate after full-time, adding, “Even the referee, if he played for Man City today, he would be disappointed for sure”.


You can watch Pep’s post-match press conference in full down below:

Pep repeated his Arteta comment

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Featured Images — Sky Sports