Pep Guardiola denies ‘disrespectful’ celebration in Kostas Tsimikas’ face

Pep Guardiola denied he disrespected Liverpool after celebrating wildly in front of substitutes Kostas Tsimikas and Arthur Melo during the 4-1 victory at the Etihad.

The home side were trailing to Mohamed Salah‘s 17th-minute opener when a quick, sweeping move from right to left set up Julian Alvarez to equalise from close range.

It prompted Guardiola to erupt with multiple double fist pumps in his technical area at exactly the moment Tsimikas was walking past, and the City boss back-pedalled to keep ahead of the left-back to continue his celebrations.

He then extended that to on-loan Juventus midfielder Arthur, shaking the players’ hand and engaging the Brazilian in conversation.

BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand said of the incident: “I don’t know how Tsimikas hasn’t pushed the opposing manager Pep Guardiola out of the way” but the City boss insists he meant no offence.

“I was happy and I said how nice our goal was. That’s all,” he said.

When asked if it was an attempt at humour he replied: “Of course. Come on.”

But when it was suggested to Guardiola his actions could be construed as provocative, he added, somewhat sarcastically: “Nah, come on. I’m so sorry.

“Speak with Tsimikas, speak with the others. Ask him if I lack respect. I celebrate the goal with my son on [the tier above].

“And I said, ‘the goal was nice, isn’t it?’. That’s all. I’m so sorry. Do you think it’s a lack of respect? Ah OK, sorry. I’m so sorry.”