Man City manager, Pep Guardiola, paid Sheffield United plenty of compliments in his post-match comments.
City eventually laboured to a 2-0 win over the Blades. However, VAR was at the centre of things again as Lys Mousset saw a goal ruled out for the narrowest of offside calls.
Furthermore, City’s opener was also shrouded in controversy as John Fleck appeared to be impeded by the referee. However, instead of stopping the game, play was waved on and Sergio Aguero fired into the top corner.
On the whole, though, it was a fine display from Chris Wilder’s men. They had Guardiola’s men on the ropes and but for VAR, could well have won the game.
And speaking following the game, this is something the City manager pointed out to members of the media.
“If the first goal had not been offside, it would have been very difficult to beat them,” Guardiola said (Richard Sutcliffe).
“I understand now why they are so high in the table. They have incredible physicality. We had problems in the first half”.
Kevin De Bruyne eventually got a second for City as they sealed three points. The Blades didn’t lie down, however, as Billy Sharp came within millimetres of scoring at the death.
Guardiola praise cements Sheffield United’s place in top-flight
Not that there was much doubt before, but getting praise from someone like Pep Guardiola is massive for the Blades.
This is one of the best managers in the game. For him to sit and watch and admit his side struggled is a testament to the United players and the coaching and tactics of Wilder and assistant, Alan Knill.
The Blades caused City problems from the off. On another day it might have been game over by half-time. Lys Mousset should have scored another one on one, while he also should have done better with a header early on.
Rest assured, though, Sheffield United are back – and Pep Guardiola now knows just why.