Guardiola left frustrated by officiating following United-Bayern draw

The coach appeared to make a ‘dive’ gesture at Wayne Rooney last night.

Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola argues with referee Carlos Velasco Carballo after he gave a red card to Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola argues with referee Carlos Velasco Carballo after he gave a red card to Bastian Schweinsteiger.

BAYERN COACH PEP Guardiola showed flashes of frustration after the defending champions were held 1-1 at Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Bastian Schweinsteiger cancelled out Nemanja Vidic’s opener in Tuesday’s game to put Bayern in control of the tie, but the Bayern midfielder was then sent off, ruling him out of next week’s return leg.

Schweinsteiger was shown a second yellow card in the final minute for sliding in on Wayne Rooney and Guardiola reacted by appearing to make a ‘dive’ gesture at the United forward.

Centre-back Javi Martinez will also miss the second leg on April 9 after being booked for a foul on Javier Hernandez and Guardiola afterwards expressed dissatisfaction with Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.

“I spoke with the referee, and he knows my opinion,” Guardiola said.

“He gave me his opinion, and huge hug, and, ‘Have a safe trip to Spain.’”

Asked if he had not agreed with his countryman’s decision to dismiss Schweinsteiger, he replied: “Absolutely not.

“I spoke with the referee. I think he’s a very good referee. He made a very, very good game. But it’s unfair.

“But it’s OK. To win the Champions League, you have to overcome everything. Sometimes during the season, during the competition, that happens, OK.”

The former Barcelona manager then became involved in a terse exchange with a British journalist, after being asked if United had played in a negative manner.

The question was a reference to Guardiola’s remark that United had played with “nine players in the box”, but he replied: “I didn’t say that. I didn’t say that. I respect my colleague (United manager David Moyes).”

Seemingly annoyed, he added: “Look at me when I talk to you. I’m talking to you, but you don’t look at me — you look that (elsewhere).”

Bayern characteristically enjoyed the lion’s share of possession — 70 percent — but they created only a handful of clear opportunities.

Danny Welbeck spurned a chance to put United ahead in the first half when he put a tame shot straight at Manuel Neuer, before Vidic’s header from a Rooney corner gave the hosts a 58th-minute lead.

- ‘We’ll go toe-to-toe’ -

Schweinsteiger replied nine minutes later, lashing home a controlled half-volley from substitute Mario Mandzukic’s knock-down, but Arjen Robben saw two late chances to claim a winner flash wide.

While Bayern have already successfully defended the Bundesliga title, and in record time, United have endured a torrid season, slipping 17 points off the pace in the Premier League.

United manager Moyes admitted that he was “a bit disappointed” by Schweinsteiger’s equaliser, but said that the performance proved that his side could compete with Bayern at the Allianz Arena next week.

Asked if Bayern now had a fight on their hands, Moyes replied: “I believe they had a fight on their hands before the first leg as well.

“Hopefully tonight (Tuesday) shows we’ll be there, we’ll go toe-to-toe with them, and we’ll try and come out on top.

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“It’s a tough tie, but we all believe that we’ve got a great chance in the competition, we really do.

“Our best football has been in this competition and we’ll need to show our best football when we go to Bayern next week.”

Mindful of Welbeck’s first-half miss, Moyes urged his players to take whatever chances come their way in the second leg.

“At this level of football you do need to be clinical,” he said.

“Sometimes there aren’t lots of opportunities and when you do get them, you have to take them.”

Moyes also said that his side could take inspiration from Premier League rivals Manchester City and Arsenal, both of whom have won at Bayern over the past two seasons.

“We’ll go there and we need to score,” he said.

“We need to go there and attempt to win the game and get some goals. Other sides have done that and we’ll try to do the same.”

© – AFP 2014

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