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Pep Guardiola on the importance of playing to the whistle

At Tuesday's match, several West Brom players stopped in anticipation of the referee blowing for offside after the assistant’s flag was raised in the build up
Joao Cancelo of Manchester City scores against West Brom on Tuesday.

Reuters   |   West Bromwich   |   Published 28.01.21, 03:49 AM

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Joao Cancelo’s controversial goal in Tuesday’s 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion showed the importance of playing to the whistle.

Cancelo’s 20th minute strike came as several West Brom players stopped in anticipation of the referee blowing for offside after the assistant’s flag was raised in the build up.

But after checking with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) the referee allowed the goal to stand.

“I understand the complaints from the West Brom players and the manager,” Guardiola told reporters. “But with this rule you have to follow the action until the end. Don’t stop because with VAR it can be disallowed.

“It is a good lesson for us. Today (Tuesday) it happened to West Brom, but it could happen to us.”

Ilkay Gundogan scored twice, and Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling also got on the scoresheet to seal City’s seventh straight Premier League win.

City have moved top of the table on 41 points, one ahead of Manchester United.

While City are threatening to take a stranglehold at the summit, the situation below them remains fluid with West Ham United the latest team to break into the top four.

Two goals from Thomas Soucek earned West Ham a 3-2 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace who had taken the lead in the second minute through Wilfried Zaha.

Saka praised

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka possesses leadership qualities beyond his years after the teenage winger produced another impressive performance in  3-1 win at Southampton.

The 19-year-old scored in the first half and assisted Alexandre Lacazette’s close-range effort in the second to help secure the victory that lifted Arsenal to eighth.

“He’s humble, respectful and at the same time has that character to demand the ball,” Arteta told reporters. 

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