After the game, Guardiola said he was angry with Rodri for his behaviour, particularly because he was sent off for grabbing Morgan Gibbs-White around the throat. “Yes,” Guardiola confirmed when asked if he was angry with the midfielder. “I don’t like to play with 10 when it is our fault. Hopefully Rodri will learn.”
The suspension carries a three-match ban, including the key away game against Arsenal.
What was perhaps most surprising about the sending off was that it was Rodri’s first career red, a stat that seems remarkable when you consider the ‘fouls’ he makes on a regular basis.
Guardiola was also critical of referee Anthony Taylor, accusing him of influencing the game through his handling of fouls and bookings. Taylor made 11 bookings during the match, one of which was for Guardiola himself. “Absolutely. The referee changed the game,” Guardiola stated.
He further explained his frustration, saying that a similar foul committed by Forest’s Willy Boly had not received the same treatment as that of City’s Manuel Akanji. “I don’t know why the first action wasn’t a yellow card. And the first action [for City] was. I don’t understand,” Guardiola added.
The City manager is not hopeful about appealing the decision regarding Rodri‘s red card. “I don’t know — a question for the club,” he said. “I think Rodri has to learn. I’m not saying it wasn’t a red card. Other things made the situation different.”
Guardiola underlined the crucial role that the fans played, especially in the difficult circumstances that he believes were compounded by the referee’s decisions. “The difficulties we had were our responsibility and our fault, the team, the spectators are involved in that. That’s why we gave more energy when we were tired,” Guardiola concluded.