Champions League final: Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola ‘could not care less’ about referee

Pep Guardiola argues with officials about Manchester City’s illegitimate goal in the Champions League quarter-finals against Liverpool in 2018

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he “doesn’t care” that Antonio Mateu Lahoz will lead the Champions League final on Saturday despite his history with the official.

The Spaniard sent Guardiola off in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Liverpool in 2018.

After the game, Guardiola said the official “likes to be different”.

But when Guardiola spoke to Chelsea ahead of the final on Saturday, he said he hadn’t thought of Lahoz for “a second”.

“I couldn’t care less. I’m so confident in my team,” said the Spanish boss. “You can’t imagine how safe I am on my team and what we have to do.”

Leroy Sane’s inadmissible goal against Liverpool sparked a clash at Etihad Stadium that resulted in Guardiola being sent to the stands and the same referee upset the city manager in the 2017 game with Monaco when Sergio Aguero booked for diving has been.

“He’s a referee who likes to feel different, he’s special. If everyone sees something, he’ll see the opposite. It’s too much to send me off because I didn’t say the wrong word,” Guardiola told the Time.

The city will face Chelsea in Porto on Saturday after losing to Thomas Tuchel’s side twice in the past six weeks, including the FA Cup semi-finals – but Guardiola reads nothing about past results.

“It’s a different competition, a new game,” he said.

Guardiola will have the opportunity to play midfielder Ilkay Gundogan after the German declared himself fit and “felt good” after a knee injury in which he missed City’s last game of the season.

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