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Manchester City: Erling Haaland upset by referee’s decision

Football Manchester City

Erling Haaland is furious about the referee’s decision

Status: 04.12.2023 | Reading time: 2 minutes

Erling Haaland lets out his frustration with referee Simon Hooper’s decision

What: Action Images via Reuters

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Erling Haaland has rarely been seen so emotional. Shortly before the end of the game against Tottenham (3:3), Manchester City’s star striker lost his composure because of the referee. Even long after the final whistle he didn’t calm down. Totally understandable.

The frustration was great, very great. Erling Haaland was beside himself – and was completely out of control shortly before the end of the spectacular 3-3 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening. Europe’s Footballer of the Year was so upset and gesticulating so wildly that he received a yellow card.

The star striker from Manchester City later commented on a video of the scene on

The reason was a decision by referee Simon Hooper in the fifth minute of added time. City wanted to counterattack and Haaland was brought down by Tottenham player Emerson Royal. But the 23-year-old Norwegian sensed his chance, immediately jumped up again, and the referee clearly decided with a hand signal that everyone in the stadium could see and let the game continue.

“I sometimes lose my mind on the sidelines,” says Guardiola

Haaland played a fantastic through ball to his teammate Jack Grealish, and the England international was free on the way to the goal. But suddenly a whistle sounded: Hooper had changed his mind, interrupted the game and awarded a free kick for City. This meant that City’s great chance of victory was gone.

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Coach Pep Guardiola also couldn’t believe the controversial decision. However, his subsequent criticism was subtle: “I sometimes lose my mind on the sidelines, my gesture wasn’t right. People can always make mistakes. We didn’t draw because of that late decision.”

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Guardiola defended his exceptional striker, saying it was normal and “his reaction was the same as that of the other ten players”. “He’s a bit disappointed,” Guardiola added, adding: “Even the referee – if he had played for Manchester City today – would have been disappointed with this action, that’s for sure.”

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