Pep Guardiola and his Wigan counterpart Paul Cook played down their half-time clash as Wigan shocked Manchester City in the FA Cup on Monday.
City’s hopes of a quadruple evaporated as the Premier League leaders were beaten 1-0 by the League One side, Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg netting the winner 11 minutes from time at the DW Stadium.
The two managers clashed in the tunnel as the teams went back to dressing rooms just after Fabian Delph was handed a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Wigan’s Max Power.
Referee Anthony Taylor initially pulled out his yellow card but then appeared to change his mind and produce the red card, to which Guardiola reacted furiously.
Pep Guardiola going after the Wigan manager in the tunnel after Fabian Delph got sent off….? pic.twitter.com/IFJ1I1VB9e
— Transfer News (@TransferChecker) February 19, 2018
The two men were then involved in a heated exchange in the tunnel which was caught on camera.
Asked about the fracas in his post-match press conference, the City boss said: “Nothing happened in the tunnel, nothing happened with my colleague. It was just please stay in your position, that’s all, and then finished.”
Cook was also quizzed about the incident, but refused to be drawn on it, adding: “I think we should speak about the game. We’d all have different opinions. There’s a lot made of tackles. I felt at the time it was a straight red. I don’t think Pep and his bench thought it was but that’s football. We’re never going to agree.”
Guardiola tried to play down the effect of the sending off.
“We played good in the second half even with 10 so the influence in terms of the way we played wasn’t too much. Of course with 11 it’s easier. We conceded one shot on target in 90 minutes and we lost. Football is like this,” he said.
“Of course we are sad and we want to go through because the FA Cup is a nice competition and you want to go to the quarter-finals, play at home against Southampton, but football counts what happens in 94 minutes.”
Meanwhile, the FA are likely to launch an investigation in events following the match after City’s Sergio Aguero appeared to get involved in a scuffle with a supporter at the end of the match.
Sergio Aguero fighting a Wigan fan after the match on the pitch… pic.twitter.com/CtW5uamD1k
— DAB Over 1.5 Goals (@1point5goals) February 19, 2018
Footage showed the Argentine raise his hand after being taunted by a Wigan fan before he was led off the pitch by City staff.
Aguero clashed with a pitch invader.
The FA are likely to look at Wigan’s failure to prevent home fans from entering the pitch and the lack of protection afforded to players at the final whistle.
Wigan chairman David Sharpe was also critical of the home supporters.
“It is not nice to see, football is emotional — that’s what it is to fans,” he said. “But I don’t like to see this at the end of the game.
“It is a massive result, but we have to stay classy in football, I don’t like what I am seeing here.”