Manager Pep Guardiola tried to distract from Manchester City’s offside goal on Sunday by pointing to a goal Arsenal scored 13 months ago.
Back in October of 2016, Arsenal scored a goal that deflected off Laurent Koscielny’s hand into the net, and the Gunners beat Burnley 1-0 as a result. Perhaps you’d forgotten, but Pep certainly hadn’t.
When Arsène Wenger pointed out that the weekend clash had been spoiled by a clear offside, Guardiola responded: “They told me it was off-side, I don’t like to win in that way, so it’s like this,” reports Burnley Express.
“But sometimes Arsenal win at Burnley in the 96th minute with a hand, sometimes it’s like this. The important thing is the performance, the way we tried to play, and we did it really well.”
It’s a bit strange that Guardiola has stock examples of when his rivals benefitted ‘unfairly’ in games that didn’t involve Manchester City or take place this season, or even this year.
In the case of the ‘handball’ Arsenal scored against Burnley, at the time consensus was split over whether it really was an infringement, with many pointing out that the contact was clearly accidental. Of course, if Koscielny didn’t intend to score with his hand, and he had no time to react to the ball a yard away from him, then the goal should stand.
Unlike handball, you can’t get away with an offside because it was an accident. So there’s no debate on City’s third goal, it shouldn’t have counted. But you can’t blame Guardiola for trying to draw the attention from that.