In the aftermath of a thrilling 4-4 draw between Manchester City and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Mauricio Pochettino found himself in a handshake omission with Pep Guardiola. Despite the incident, both managers downplayed it during their post-match press conferences, with Guardiola choosing to emphasize the match’s overall quality.
Pochettino publicly apologized to referee Anthony Taylor and Guardiola, explaining that he genuinely did not notice the offered handshake in the midst of the intense finale. The game itself unfolded as one of the most captivating encounters of the Premier League season, witnessing City’s comeback from a goal down to a 4-3 lead, only to be equalized by Cole Palmer’s dramatic 95th-minute penalty against his former team.
Acknowledging his emotional outburst during the game, Pochettino admitted to crossing the limit, expressing regret for his actions and emphasizing the need to apologize to the officials. He specifically pointed out a moment where he felt Raheem Sterling could have scored a fifth goal and his frustration with a pause in action. The Argentine also clarified his apparent snub of Guardiola, attributing it to being engrossed in the ongoing events.
Pochettino praised his players for their mental strength and character, considering the late comeback against a formidable opponent like Manchester City as a potential turning point to build confidence. Guardiola, on the other hand, expressed no issue with Pochettino, acknowledging that emotions can run high in such situations.
Despite the dropped points, Guardiola recognized the match as a compelling advertisement for the Premier League and noted the evolving cohesion of Pochettino’s team with new players. He described the game as a fair result, highlighting the competitive spirit of both teams and their respective moments of dominance throughout the match.