Football

Guardiola praises 'brave' referee for disallowing Mahrez's penalty

Pep Guardiola praised "brave" referee Robert Madley for disallowing Riyad Mahrez's penalty in Manchester City's 2-1 victory over Leicester on Saturday.

City dominated the first 40 minutes and led through David Silva's 29th-minute opener and a penalty from Gabriel Jesus seven minutes later.

But a superb volley from Shinji Okazaki gave Leicester some momentum heading into the second half and they exploited City's nerves to almost snatch a point.

When Gael Clichy felled Mahrez in the box and the playmaker converted from the spot, it looked like the Foxes had drawn level.

But Madley spotted that Mahrez had slipped, his left-footed shot hitting his standing leg on the way in, and it was ruled out.

Guardiola said: "The shot was a little bit strange and, when I saw the reaction from (goalkeeper) Willy (Caballero), I understood immediately it was two touches and the referee was so brave to interpret the rule."

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare bemoaned his side's luck and argued that the penalty could have been retaken for encroachment by City players.

He said: "It is a freak penalty, a double touch. Clearly the letter of the law states it doesn't stand.

"What I will say in terms of the letter of the law, an eagle-eyed official probably notices the encroachment of two Man City players, but you don't often get that these days.

"The disappointment of the double touch, maybe the encroachment happens first and he can pull it back but, in real time, it happens really quick."

Leicester were also aggrieved that Silva's opener was not disallowed after Raheem Sterling waved a leg at the ball from an offside position.

Shakespeare said: "To the letter of the law, as soon as he makes an attempt for the ball, which you can clearly see he does, it's a clear offside decision."

But Sterling insisted that he deliberately avoided making contact with the ball to ensure that the goal would not be disallowed.

"I tried to intentionally swing a foot at it, but I realised if I did hit it I'd be offside, so I left it," he told Sky Sports.

"I wasn't worried (about it being disallowed) because I knew I didn't touch it.

"It's definitely David's goal."

- WIRE SERVICES

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