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'The referees were brilliant'...
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'The referees were brilliant' | Pep Gaurdiola defends controversial Bellingham decision

Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

09:46 7 Apr 2021

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola the decision to disallow Jude Bellingham's goal for Dortmund during last night's Champions League quarter-final was correct.

The runaway Premier League leaders were 2-1 winners against the German side in their first leg last night, with Phil Foden's injury-time winner giving them a lead to bring to Dortmund next week.

Foden scored late on after Marco Reus's away goal had drawn Dortmund level inside the final 100 minutes.

However, Dortmund also had a first-half goal ruled out, when English defender Jude Bellingham was penalised for a foul on City keeper Ederson.

The decision was heavily criticised at the time, with many highlighting how Bellingham made no contact with Ederson, while winning the ball cleanly.

However, Guardiola says the decision to chalk it off was entirely correct.

"The referees were brilliant. The game was not a problem.

"After with Bellingham the action from the leg is higher than expected.

"The referees and the linesmen were correct so it was perfect," he said.

The 17-year-old defender certainly didn't agree, however, venting his frustrations on TV after the game.

"It's a bit frustrating at a time when they’ve got so many cameras and so many TVs watching the game that they don’t wait for me to put it in the net and then check it. It’s football and it’s life, we have to get on with it, really.

"All I got told was that I got booked and it's going to be a free-kick for them. I think they should have checked it but apparently, I had my studs up, caught the goalie and it was a foul," he said.

The English defender's rise to prominence continued last night, becoming the second-youngest player to start a Champions League quarter-final - behind only Bojan in April 2008 for Barcelona against Schalke.

The former Birmingham City defender made his England debut during their November friendly versus the Republic of Ireland at Wembley.

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Borussia Dortmund Champions League Jude Bellingham Manchester City

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