Guardiola explains comments to referee following Liverpool defeat
(Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Manchester City have slipped to fourth in the Premier League and now sit nine points behind Liverpool following a 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.

The top of the table encounter was full of controversy throughout, with the Blues feeling as though they should've been awarded penalties for hand-ball both in the first and second half.

Pep Guardiola was evidently furious with the refereeing decisions on the touchline, and after the game approached Michael Oliver to say "thank you so much", a comment that was deemed by many as highly sarcastic

Guardiola has since explained his actions.

"It was not sarcastic"

Speaking in his post-match press conference, the City boss first explained his comments about the referee by saying "It was not sarcastic," before going on further, "I say thank you so much all the time, I said the same at Tottenham game at home, all the time I go to referees I say thank you so much."

Following this, Guardiola refused to talk about either of the hand-ball incidents, even with Trent Alexander-Arnold's being a key factor in the outcome of the match, with Liverpool scoring less than a minute after City's appeals were waved away.

"I’m not here to talk about the decisions over the referees or VAR." he stated, "Don’t ask me, ask them." 

"We never know what will happen in the future"

Perhaps having calmed down from the heat of the moment mid-game, Guardiola went on to talk of how these incidents may potentially have not played as big of a part as people may think.

"It’s uncomfortable for me, it looks like Pep complains about the result. Maybe we miss the penalty, I don’t know what happens if we get a penalty." he continued, "We never know what will happen in the future. For the decisions ask the big bosses."

The Spaniard finished talk of the controversy by speaking of the experience from this game, and the lessons that the Citizens need to take from this as a club. 

"We’re a club who start to be in the elite in the last decade. Not like Liverpool, with You’ll Never Walk Alone, it’s 50 years, 60 years, we need to live this experience to grow. What happened is part of life."

The champions now have the international break to pick themselves up and get back in the fight, although with Jurgen Klopp's side looking so consistent and being so far ahead of the Blues, Guardiola will know his side have no time to feel sorry for themselves and must get back up to go again if they're to pick up a third successive Premier League crown.