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Erling Haaland and Pep Guardiola have both expressed their reactions to Simon Hooper’s controversial decision not to allow advantage when Jack Grealish was poised to score in Manchester City’s 3-3 draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

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In the dying moments of the match at the Etihad, Hooper initially signaled for City to play advantage after Emerson Royal fouled Erling Haaland near the halfway line. However, Hooper later decided to award a free kick instead when Grealish found himself in a goal-scoring position during the supposed advantage.

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On the field, Haaland and his teammates were visibly displeased with the decision. The striker continued to express his frustration after the game, sharing a clip of the incident on social media with the caption: “Wtf.”

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During a post-match interview, Manager Guardiola, while avoiding making a comment similar to Mikel Arteta’s for fear of FA charges, admitted his difficulty in understanding the referee’s thought process. Guardiola stated, “Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment. It is hard when you review the image; the referee decides to blow the whistle after he has already said to play on. After the pass, the whistle, so I do not understand this action.”

Despite the controversial decision and missed opportunities, including ones from Haaland, City settled for a draw as Dejan Kulusevski equalized with a powerful header in the 89th minute.

Reflecting on his team’s performance, Guardiola expressed disappointment that they didn’t get what they deserved from the game, likening it to the previous match against Liverpool. Despite creating numerous chances and displaying a strong performance, Guardiola acknowledged the unpredictable nature of football, stating, “Sometimes football is like life; you do not get what you deserve.”

The result leaves Manchester City in third place in the Premier League table, trailing Arsenal by three points as they enter a busy Christmas period.

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