Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has denied claims by Porto manager Sergio Conceicao that the City boss pressured match officials into decisions when the two sides met last month in the Champions League. The Portuguese manager accused Guardiola and the Manchester City bench of putting undue pressure on referees which contributed to his side’s loss.
“I’ve got a lot to learn from Pep Guardiola, in the way he pressures referees, talks to opposition players and opposition dugout,” Conceicao said after the game.
“The whole Manchester City dugout was because if anybody should have been complaining, it was Porto bench, because we were extremely hard done by.”
The issue came up again in the press conference leading to the return leg as City face the Portuguese side on Tuesday night. Guardiola dismissed the claims, stating that he disagrees with the opposition manager’s opinion.
“I’m not in agreement. He can say, maybe it’s his opinion, but I’m not agreeing that we pressure the referees,” Guardiola said ahead of the meeting between the two sides.
“It’s not the way that we in the history speak for ourselves. We are not the type of team to do this, honestly. I would admit it. So one thing is an action that you don’t agree [with], you can make any comment, one specific action. But it’s not a part of who we are, honestly.
“In the five years we are here together and the people in Germany and Spain know completely that it speaks for itself, our behaviour.
“I’m not agreeing. It’s not true.”
City will be looking to secure a fifth straight win in Group C after winning the last four games with 10 goals scored while conceding just one. Incidentally, that one was against Porto at the Etihad Stadium. The Portuguese side had taken the lead in the game through a superb goal from forward Luis Diaz before succumbing to a 3-1 defeat.
Conceicao will be looking to get one over Guardiola in order to upset him to top spot in the group. Porto currently occupy second position on the table with nine points and a win against City will take them to joint top.
However, with the Blues rediscovering their scoring touch against Burnley in a 5-0 routing over the weekend, it’s difficult to see any upset here. That’s if the Cityzens stay motivated and go full throttle having already qualified for the next round.