Pep Guardiola will escape sanction for his provocative goal celebration in front of Liverpool’s Kostas Tsimikas during Manchester City’s 4-1 win at the Etihad on Saturday, sources have told ESPN.
The City manager reacted to Julian Alvarez’s first-half equalising goal by appearing to taunt Liverpool substitute Tsimikas as the defender walked past Guardiola’s technical area after warming up further down the touchline.
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Guardiola also attempted to shake the hand of Arthur Melo, Tsimikas’s fellow substitute, as the Juventus loanee returned to his seat on the Liverpool bench, but it was his actions with Tsimikas that led to Guardiola being criticised by supporters and former players after the game.
When asked about his celebration, Guardiola denied that was he disrespectful to Tsimikas, saying: “I’m so sorry. Ask him if I lack respect. I celebrated the goal — you think it was a lack of respect? Ah, sorry.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was issued with a one-match touchline ban for confronting an assistant referee on the touchline during the corresponding fixture at Anfield earlier this season.
But although the English Football Association’s Respect campaign is aimed at ensuring better, more respectful behaviour by players and coaches, sources have told ESPN that Guardiola faces no further action from the FA over the incident with Tsimikas.
Clashes between players and rival coaches are rare, but former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was banned for seven games in 2013-14 for headbutting Hull City’s David Meyler on the touchline during a Premier League fixture.