Pep Guardiola was left perplexed as to why VAR was not used for Manchester City’s controversial 3-2 FA Cup quarter-final win at Swansea.
City were the beneficiaries of two contentious decisions in fighting back from 2-0 down after 69 minutes to keep their quadruple hopes alive.
The Premier League champions were trailing 2-1 when awarded a penalty 12 minutes from time – Raheem Sterling went to ground, even though Swansea defender Cameron Carter-Vickers had appeared to get a touch on the ball.
Substitute Sergio Aguero also seemed to be in an offside position when he headed home the winner two minutes from time to complete the City comeback.
“You have to ask the authorities why VAR is not here,” City manager Guardiola said.
“All around it is there, but here it is not.
“If it’s not a penalty and it’s also offside, I am sorry. I don’t like to win games when decisions are wrong. It’s not easy.”
Swansea City spokesman on non-use of VAR for Man City tie
“We are in the dark ourselves that it would only be used in Premier League stadiums. That seems a bit strange considering we were there for seven years and all the technology is placed here to accommodate it.”
— Phil Blanche (@philblanche) March 16, 2019
Swansea said the club was set up to use VAR given their history of being in the Premier League between 2011 and 2018.
But a club spokesman said the Football Association told them that VAR would not be used at the Liberty Stadium, even though it was in operation at other quarter-final ties around the country.
“We are in the dark ourselves over the non-use of VAR here and that it would only be used in Premier League stadiums,” the spokesman told Press Association Sport.
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) March 16, 2019
“That seems a bit strange considering we were there for seven years and all the technology is placed here to accommodate it.”
The VAR row overshadowed an excellent Swansea display which saw Graham Potter’s side take a 2-0 half-time lead through Matt Grimes’ penalty and a superb strike from former City player Bersant Celina.
City piled on the pressure in the second half and Bernardo Silva halved the deficit after 69 minutes.
Aguero’s penalty hit a post and rebounded off goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt for an unfortunate own goal.
“I don’t want anything to take away from the quality of our performance,” manager Potter said after the game was marred late on by a supporter running on to the pitch from a stand housing home fans and jostling City substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko.
“We showed great courage, great quality and effort and from our perspective I thought our players were incredible.
— Matt Grimes (@Matt_Grimes8) March 16, 2019
“But it does not make it any easier when Aguero and Sterling come on, it makes it more difficult and in the end we couldn’t hold out.
“The performance was one to be very proud of.”
Guardiola said: “You have to say congratulations to Swansea, it was incredible.
“But we didn’t give up. We adjusted things and the quality of our players made the difference.”
On the pitch invasion, Guardiola added: “It’s happened a few times lately and it’s a worry because in the future we could have problems
“It’s not nice but thankfully nothing happened this time.”