Pep Guardiola ‘apologizes’ for offensive chants from Man City fans in Liverpool

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has apologized for the chants from the club’s fans referring to the tragedies of Hillsborough and Heysel during last weekend’s tumultuous defeat at Liverpool.

The Catalan, who says he hasn’t heard any offensive chants himself, also believes City will learn lessons on and off the field from what happened at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool expressed disappointment at “obnoxious” chants from City fans, as well as graffiti post-game, which also referred to the two 1980s disasters.

Guardiola’s response at a press conference on Friday was the first public comment by anyone from City on the matter since the tumultuous Premier League clash, which Liverpool won 1-0.

“I didn’t hear the singing,” said Guardiola. “If it happened, I’m so sorry. It doesn’t represent what we are as a team and club – if that happened.

“But don’t worry, we can behave (after) our mistakes without any problems.”

The chants and vandalism weren’t the only unsavory issues surrounding the game.

Coins were thrown at Guardiola on the sidelines and police are investigating after a city team bus was hit by a missile as it left the ground.

Animosity between the two clubs has grown in recent years and it’s understood some people at City believe Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s pre-game comments about the Manchester club’s wealth made the tensions unnecessary have kindled.

But when asked if he thought the rivalry between City and Liverpool had turned toxic, Guardiola said: “I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure about that from our side.”

As well as addressing the aftermath of the off-field controversy, Guardiola is hoping to pick his side up from their first loss of the campaign. The champions host Brighton on Saturday.

Guardiola said: “We have to be ready. The past is past and already forgotten. Of course we’re learning – on and off the pitch – but Brighton is our only concern.

“What I’ve learned from my managerial career is that if you’re always focused on the past, you lose focus on the present and the future, and that’s the first step to losing points.

“Liverpool is history and Brighton is our dream.”

Further asked if he was fed up with the recurring questions or criticism surrounding the club’s financial strength, Guardiola said: “It is what it is. (Just prepare yourself) Brighton and try to play better and win games. It is what it is.”

Guardiola, meanwhile, has warned players he will not accept a drop in standards from players who may be worried about getting injured ahead of the World Cup.

He said: “He won’t play if I smell that. I can smell that really good. Not tactics, but smelling. I am very good.

“There is a risk that he will hurt himself if he is not ready. If you’re focused, you won’t get hurt. If you’re distracted, you hurt yourself.

“They can lose their place at the World Cup if they don’t get selected or for many other reasons, so they have to focus on every single game to the end.

“There are only two weeks left and if you concentrate here, you are perfect for the World Cup. Otherwise you’ll get in trouble.” Pep Guardiola ‘apologizes’ for offensive chants from Man City fans in Liverpool

Fry Electronics Team

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