Arsenal Boss Arteta Bemused By VAR Role In Nketiah’s Red Card

 

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he does not understand VAR after its role in the red card for young Gunners forward Eddie Nketiah’s in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester. 

Nketiah was sent off seconds after coming on when his late lunge on James Justin was deemed worthy of a sending-off by referee Chris Kavanagh after he came to the side of the pitch to review the incident.

“In the last year I have never seen a referee check any images,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“I do not understand the rules. But I can do nothing now.”

In January this year, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the body that manages elite referees, said referees should start using pitchside monitors for red card decisions where it is felt they should have the final say.

Following that advice Southampton’s Moussa Djenepo was red-carded by Graham Scott after he used the monitors to review a foul in the 1-0 defeat by Newcastle on March 7.

Arteta felt there was no consistency and a Leicester player should have been sent off in the closing minutes of the first half.

“It can be a red card but then Leicester have to play with 10 men,” said Arteta.

“For an incident that happened between the 40th and 45th minute, it has to be a red card as well.”

Arteta is the latest manager to question VAR with Chelsea’s Frank Lampard, Everton’s Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho of Tottenham Hotspur calling for a review of the rules at the season.

The draw left Leicester fourth and still in the running for a Champions League place while Arsenal are seventh.

 

 

-AFP

VAR Taking The Fun Out Of Football – Premier League Fans

File photo of Referee Andy Madley checking the VAR screen. PHOTO: Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

More than two-thirds of Premier League fans believe the introduction of VAR has taken the fun out of football, according to a YouGov survey.

The technology is in use for the first time in the English top-flight this season and its implementation has been met with consistent criticism.

In contrast to other Europan leagues, referees have been advised not to use pitchside monitors to review their own decisions and are instead overruled by an official watching the game at the league’s VAR hub in London.

Even though the referees are not consulting the monitors, the process has often led to long delays while decisions are reviewed. There have also been complaints about a lack of communication to fans inside the ground.

The poll found that 67 percent felt matches were less enjoyable since the introduction of VAR.

Six out of 10 of those surveyed felt the system was working badly, and its performance was scored four out of 10 on average by the sample.

However, only 15 percent of those surveyed wanted the system to be scrapped, with 74 percent saying it should be kept, but modified.

The most popular proposals for reforming VAR included referees using the pitchside monitors, showing fans in the stadium the incident at the same time as the VAR officials and having a time limit for decisions.

VAR Meant For ‘Clear And Obvious’ Mistakes – Official

The VAR screen shows a check for a possible red card for Brighton’s English defender Dan Burn during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Bournemouth at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on December 28, 2019.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) should only overturn on-field decisions when there has been a “clear and obvious” error, according to one of football’s leading international rules officials.

VAR has proved highly controversial since it was introduced into the Premier League this season.

A particular source of concern has revolved around offside calls.

Last weekend saw Norwich, Brighton, Sheffield United, Wolves, Brighton and Crystal Palace all have goals disallowed by marginal VAR rulings amid doubts over whether the available technology is accurate enough to make such fractional calls.

READ ALSO: West Ham Appoint David Moyes As Manager For Second Time

Players and managers have also questioned whether the system should not be used to reverse an on-field decision that appears correct to the naked eye, a view that received support on Monday from the general secretary of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) — the sport’s ultimate rule-making body.

Lukas Brud, while not addressing specific incidents in English football, said IFAB guidance advises VAR should only be used to correct clear errors also applied to offside.

“Clear and obvious still remains — it’s an important principle,” Brud said in comments reported by the British media.

“There should not be a lot of time spent to find something marginal.

“If you spend minutes trying to identify whether it is offside or not, then it’s not clear and obvious and the original decision should stand,” he added.

Wolves captain Conor Coady was frustrated when his side were denied what seemed a legitimate equaliser just before half-time against runaway league leaders Liverpool on Sunday when Pedro Neto’s effort was chalked off because wing-back Jonny was deemed to be offside in the build-up.

Wolves eventually lost 1-0 at Anfield and Coady told the BBC afterward: “A lot of people are going to tell me that they have come to the right decision and they might have. But what is it, an armpit that’s offside, or a toe, or something like that?”

‘Not Helping’

Meanwhile, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was annoyed after VAR denied his side a goal against champions Manchester City — the fifth time it has happened to the Blades this season.

“Yet again we had another goal disallowed by VAR,” he said.

“That’s about eight or nine over the weekend, this is not a situation helping the game.”

Even City manager Pep Guardiola, whose side won 2-0, said VAR was “a big mess”, with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss adding: “Hopefully next season it can do better.”

But the introduction of VAR into Scottish football cannot come quickly enough for Glasgow giants Rangers.

Sunday saw Steven Gerrard’s side win 2-1 away to arch-rivals and reigning champions Celtic as they moved to within two points of the Scottish Premiership leaders.

Gers boss Gerrard’s lone criticism of referee Kevin Clancy centered on the official not sending off Celtic defender Christopher Jullien in added time in an incident that saw Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos see red for a second yellow card.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson, while insisting he was not criticising referees, said Monday the pace of the modern game made it “extremely difficult to make split-second calls with the degree of certainty required”.

He added: “We believe the introduction of VAR would help referees enormously and reduce the number of wrong decisions which sometimes have a dramatic effect on the outcome of matches.”

AFP

Liverpool Ride Their Luck To Beat Wolves 1-0

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) embraces Liverpool’s English defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) at the end of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England, on December 29, 2019.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Liverpool needed the aid of VAR to re-establish their 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Wolves on Sunday as a late Chelsea fightback inflicted a 2-1 defeat on Arsenal in Mikel Arteta’s first home game in charge.

Manchester City remain 14 points adrift of the runaway league leaders, but closed the gap on second-placed Leicester thanks to second-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne to beat Sheffield United 2-0.

Sadio Mane scored the only goal of a controversial clash at Anfield as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run at Anfield in the league to 50 games.

“It was a tough test and rightly so. We play for big stakes, and try to be successful and be as good as possible,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

Mane’s strike three minutes before half-time was initially ruled out for a handball by Adam Lallana in the build-up, but a VAR review overturned referee Anthony Taylor’s on-field decision.

Moments later Wolves thought they had levelled when Pedro Nieto fired low past Alisson Becker, but again the VAR review went against the visitors as the goal was ruled out for a fractional offside against Jonny.

“We feel massively hard done by, I can’t get my head around it. It is ridiculous,” said Wolves captain Connor Coady.

“For me it is not working. Some people are saying it gets the right decision but we’re the players on the pitch and it doesn’t feel right to me.”

Wolves had less than 48 hours to recover from a thrilling 3-2 victory over City on Friday, but still had plenty of chances to secure at least a point after the break as Becker denied Diogo Jota before Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore had shots deflected wide in the closing stages.

Just a second league defeat in 15 games means Wolves fall five points behind Chelsea in the fight for a top-four finish after Frank Lampard’s men staged a dramatic turnaround at the Emirates.

‘Awful’ Chelsea Beat Arsenal

Arsenal seemed set to give Arteta a first home win in the league since October as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener was just reward for one of the Gunners’ best performances of the season.

However, the defensive blunders that have blighted Arsenal’s season under three different managers cost them again when goalkeeper Bernd Leno came and missed a Mason Mount free-kick to allow Jorginho to tap home an equaliser seven minutes from time.

Chelsea capped the comeback four minutes later when Tammy Abraham led a counter-attack from one end to the other before finishing from Willian’s cross.

“We were so awful for 30 minutes; slow, lethargic, nervous,” said Lampard, who made a tactical change to bring on Jorginho after just 34 minutes.

“The second half was nothing to do with tactics, it was all to do with spirit and desire.”

However, Arsenal were furious Jorginho was still on the field to equalise as he escaped a second yellow card at 1-0 for a foul on Alexandre Lacazette.

VAR also had a big role to play at the Etihad where City were again far from convincing but did enough to inflict a first away defeat in nearly a year on Sheffield United.

The Blades had a goal ruled out by a VAR review before half-time for another close offside call against Lys Mousset.

The Frenchman also wasted another good chance when one-on-one with Claudio Bravo and the visitors were punished by a characteristically clinical finish from Aguero as he rifled home De Bruyne’s through ball.

De Bruyne then doubled City’s advantage eight minutes from time with a fine low finish.

VAR Must Be ‘Clearer, Faster’, Says UEFA Boss Ceferin

Aleksander-Ceferin-UEFA

 

UEFA plans to expand its use of VAR, but president Aleksander Ceferin said on Wednesday he wants the system and the rules to be clearer and faster. 

He told a press conference after a UEFA Executive Committee meeting that the organisation planned to ask the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which manages the rules, to clarify several issues.

Ceferin emphasised that UEFA was committed to video replay. He suggested the bigger problem was overcoming the reluctance of teams and their fans to accept they have been fairly beaten.

“Why not go back?” he asked. “Because there would always be teams who think they lost because VAR did not exist. We always complain when we lose because of a mistake.”

“We need to make the technology clearer, faster, less invasive”, he said. “But it will stay… And that’s why we have to try to improve it.”

Ceferin listed problems he wants addressed.

“One is, for example, offside. The line is very thin, and it’s drawn by VAR, so it’s a subjective line of an objective fact, which is a bit strange,” he said.

Ceferin said agreement on handball was also a problem. He said retired Italian referee Roberto Rosetti had conducted a session at UEFA for leading coaches which highlighted the disagreements.

“For me it was strange when we had elite coaches visiting us, all the top coaches of European football, of world football,” said Ceferin. “When Roberto Rosetti showed a ball that touched a hand, half of them said ‘handball’, half said ‘no way’.”

Ceferin also cited the confusion caused when referees reviewed an incident in an earlier phase of play. He cited a Champions League match on November 28. Inter Milan put the ball in the net only for the goal to be disallowed because VAR showed an earlier foul at the other end. Slavia were awarded a penalty. Inter thought they were 2-0 up, but found themselves at 1-1.

“How far do we go, do we check five minutes, do we check 15 minutes?” he asked. He added that, in the past, “the referee never said ‘seven minutes earlier there was a foul so we go back.’ The game is changing and we are afraid it is changing too much.”

IFAB will meet again on February 29 in Northern Ireland to consider potential rules changes to be introduced on June 1.

UEFA said on Wednesday that it will use VAR in the qualifying play-offs for Euro 2020 at the end of March, as well as in the European zone qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which will begin in March 2021.

VAR Helps Leicester To Victory Against Tottenham

Leicester City’s Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi (L) vies with Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian midfielder Erik Lamela to header the ball during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on September 21, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Tottenham’s long wait for an away win in the Premier League continued as Leicester came from behind to beat last season’s Champions League finalists 2-1 at the King Power on Saturday.

Harry Kane’s great improvisation handed Spurs a first-half lead and Mauricio Pochettino’s men thought they had doubled that advantage when Serge Aurier fired home.

However, the goal was ruled out by the finest of margins for offside after a VAR review and Leicester compounded Spurs’ pain by equalising two minutes later through Ricardo Pereira.

James Maddison’s fine long-range strike five minutes from time then capped Leicester’s comeback as they moved above Manchester City into second in the Premier League, for a few hours at least.

By contrast, Spurs have now won just two of their first seven games of the season in all competitions and have still not won away from home in the Premier League since January.

Leicester are aiming to break the glass ceiling of the Premier League top six for the first time since their sensational title triumph in 2016.

And Brendan Rodgers’s men claimed their first big-six scalp of the season after drawing away to Chelsea and running Manchester United close at Old Trafford last weekend.

The Foxes started brightly as Maddison curled just wide and then forced Spurs’ stand-in goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga into a smart save at his near post.

The hosts were also first to have the ball in the net when Gazzaniga — deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris — spilled Youri Tielemans’s shot and Wilfred Ndidi bundled home the rebound.

But replays showed Ayoze Perez was offside as he reached the loose ball off Gazzaniga first and the goal was ruled out after a VAR review.

Kane makes most of reprieve 

Handed that reprieve, Tottenham went in front in unusual fashion on 29 minutes when Son Heung min’s backheel found Kane, who stumbled and hit the floor as he bore down on goal.

However, the England captain still managed to flick the ball high beyond Kasper Schmeichel from the ground for his 14th goal in 13 games against Leicester.

Kane should have done better with a far better chance moments later when he dragged a shot wide.

At the other end, Gazzaniga was being kept busy as he denied Perez and Jamie Vardy either side of half-time, while Harvey Barnes also headed wastefully wide for the hosts.

But the momentum of the match truly turned Leicester’s way on another VAR call 23 minutes from time.

Kane teed up Aurier to fire home from the edge of the area, but the goal was ruled out for Son being barely a millimetre offside in the build-up.

Leicester built on that huge lift and went straight down the other end to level when Vardy’s low cross was turned home at the far post by Pereira.

Spurs had chances to retake the lead as Aurier fired across goal and wide, while Kane’s powerful effort was too close to Schmeichel.

And they were hit with the sucker punch when Maddison pounced on a loose ball and drilled a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

AFP

VAR Stealing Headlines As Women’s World Cup Heads Into Knockout Phase

 

The real competition is only just beginning as the women’s World Cup heads into the knockout phase with hosts France and holders the United States — the two favourites — on a collision course to meet in the quarter-finals.

Progress through the group phase has been largely serene for both sides, although a knock to star striker Alex Morgan has given the USA some cause for concern before their last-16 tie against Spain on Monday.

There have been plenty of positives to take from the two weeks of competition so far, but there has also been controversy stemming from the use of Video Assistant Referees.

The VAR again came to the fore in the USA’s 2-0 win over Sweden on Thursday, with Jonna Andersson’s second-half own goal in Le Havre somehow standing despite substitute Carli Lloyd appearing to interfere with the play from an offside position in the build-up.

Law changes wreak havoc

VAR is clearly struggling to deal with the new definition of handball, but the biggest controversies have come from retaken penalties, in Nigeria’s defeat against France and then for Argentina to eliminate Scotland.

If the use of VAR at the 2018 World Cup in Russia was ultimately deemed a success, recent modifications to the laws of the game are causing problems.

Scotland and Nigeria were undone by a change to the law on penalty kicks, meaning a goalkeeper must now have “at least part of one foot on… the goal line when the kick is taken”.

The VAR found that Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander, like Nigeria’s Chiamaka Nnadozie, had strayed fractionally in front of the line, and penalties either missed or saved were retaken and converted.

Critics might suggest FIFA are using the women’s World Cup as a laboratory to see how VAR copes with the law changes, although the fact hardly any of the officials on the field had prior experience to working with video assistants has not helped.

Heading into the knockout rounds, the fear has to be that chaos could ensue if any tie heads to a penalty shoot-out.

Star turns

The controversy has drawn attention away from the on-pitch successes, with all the favourites advancing untroubled.

In the absence of Norway’s Ballon d’Or winning star Ada Hegerberg, other players have stepped up.

Brazil’s Marta became the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with 17 goals, while Morgan grabbed five in her country’s 13-0 demolition of Thailand, the biggest ever victory at the tournament.

The gulf between the established nations and the developing countries was laid bare in that game, and one thing Thailand have certainly lacked is a top-class goalkeeper.

However, there has been plenty of evidence to show that women’s goalkeeping is improving considerably, and Chile’s Christiane Endler carried a torch for the smaller nations with her world-class display in her country’s 3-0 loss against the USA.

“We don’t even have a professional league in Chile,” pointed out Endler.

“Without doubt, qualifying for the World Cup has been a big step forward for us, but it must just be the start. We need to open the doors to little girls in Chile.”

Empty seats

Fans are watching around the world, with record audiences tuning in to coverage of games in Italy and in the United Kingdom. In France, almost 11 million viewers watched the hosts’ opening game against South Korea.

There is a fervour around the host nation’s matches, which have attracted sell-out crowds. Often, though, attendances have been disappointing. Most matches have not sold out.

Nevertheless, organisers are happy ahead of Saturday’s first game in the round of 16, between Germany and Nigeria.

“Before criticising some of the attendances we need to first of all be happy that so many people are turning up,” Erwan Le Prevost, head of the Local Organising Committee, told AFP.

AFP

CAF To Introduce VAR From Quarter-Finals At Cup Of Nations

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad attends a press conference a day before the start of the 2019 football Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) on June 20, 2019, at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital.
MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP

 

VAR, the video review system that sparked chaotic scenes in the African Champions League final last month, will be introduced from the quarter-final stage at the Cup of Nations in Egypt, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad said Thursday.

“It’s a measure of prudence. When you see the various countries that use VAR, they don’t rush into it from the start. It’s a technology that a lot of people don’t completely use yet,” Ahmad said in Cairo, on the eve of the opening match between hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe.

“It was planned for the semi-finals to start with, but we insisted that we have to go a little bit further. The executive committee decided on the quarter-finals so that it’s a success.”

READ ALSO: Messi Penalty Rescues Argentina In COPA America

The announcement was one keenly awaited since the controversy that overshadowed the second leg of the CAF Champions League final between Tunisian club Esperance and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.

In an unprecedented decision, CAF ordered the match to be replayed following the Cup of Nations after Wydad walked off the pitch in protest and refused to return after a faulty VAR system was unavailable to judge a disallowed equaliser.

AFP

VAR Helps Fiorentina Beat SPAL Amid Controversy

Video Assistant Referees/AFP

 

Fiorentina were saved by VAR on Sunday amid chaotic scenes after the referee disallowed SPAL a goal and instead awarded a penalty which the Tuscans converted before winning 4-1.

Mattia Valoti’s deflected strike after 75 minutes had been greeted with delight by the home crowd as it had given relegation-threatened SPAL a 2-1 advantage after 75 minutes in Ferrara.

But the referee immediately ordered a video review which confirmed Felipe had fouled Federico Chiesa in the build-up to the goal which he disallowed and instead awarded Fiorentina a penalty.

Jordan Veretout stepped up and converted from the spot with the decision proving to be a killer blow for SPAL who instead of being 2-1 up were 2-1 down.

The hosts scrambled to get back into the game but conceded a goal with Giovanni Simeone adding a third minutes later, and Brazilian Gerson a fourth two minutes from time.

READ ALSO: Neymar’s Father Denies Contacting Barca Over Return

SPAL had taken the lead through Andrea Petagna after 36 minutes before Edimilson Fernandes grabbed the equaliser just before the break.

Fiorentina move up to eighth — seven points off the Champions League places — after their eighth win this season.

SPAL sit three points above the relegation zone after their 12th defeat.

AFP

UEFA To Use VAR From Champions League Knockout Stage

 

Video Assistant Referees will be used in the Champions League from the knockout stages of this season’s competition and in the Nations League finals in June, UEFA confirmed on Monday.

European football’s governing body had previously stated its intention to introduce VAR only from the start of the 2019/2020 season.

“If we can do it before, why wait? We cannot afford any mistakes if we can do it earlier,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin after a meeting of the European football body’s Executive Committee.

“We are ready to use VAR earlier than initially planned and we are convinced that it will be beneficial for our competitions as it will provide valuable help to match officials and will allow to reduce incorrect decisions.”

VAR is already used in a number of Europe’s top leagues, including Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga and Serie A in Italy and was widely seen as a success at this summer’s World Cup.

The Europa League final and the under-21 European Championships in Italy in June will also use VAR.

AFP

VAR To Star In 2019 Asian Cup Quarter-Finals

Video Assistant Referees will be used in the Champions League from the 2019-20 season and will also be introduced at the 2020 European Championship, UEFA confirmed on Thursday.

 

The Asian Football Confederation on Thursday said the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be implemented from the quarter-finals of next year’s Asian Cup.

The AFC which is the regional governing body, said VAR will be used in seven matches and at four venues.

The system allows referees to review video footage of key decisions such as the awarding of goals, penalties and red cards during matches.

It was used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia but with mixed results.

VAR is already in use across the majority of Europe’s major leagues including La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A.

“The decision to include VAR was only made on September 26 and that has meant a tremendous amount of work has been required to ensure that it can play a role at the tournament from the quarter-final stages,” Windsor John, the AFC general-secretary said in a statement.

The bigger 2019 Asian Cup will feature a record 24 teams from all corners of Asia, up from 16 that participated in the previous four editions.

The 2019 tournament will be the second time the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hosted the event, after successfully staging the finals in 1996.

The Asian Cup UAE 2019 runs from 5 January to 1 February 2019, with 51 matches being played in eight world class stadiums located across four host cities – Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

AFP

Champions League Needs VAR, Says Guardiola

Houston Derby: Despite City Loss, New Signings Impress Guardiola

 

Manchester City needed no help to swat aside Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 to move to the brink of the Champions League last 16, but got a boost with a farcical penalty award that led to even manager Pep Guardiola to call for the introduction of VAR.

Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai remarkably pointed to the spot when Raheem Sterling tripped himself up as he bore down on goal midway through the first half with City already leading 1-0 through David Silva’s opener.

“It’s not (a penalty),” said Guardiola. “VAR doesn’t exist in UEFA so that is the problem.”

Despite some controversial calls, the use of video referees was largely deemed successful at the World Cup and will be introduced in the Champions League next season.

However, Guardiola, who was sent to the stands for protesting a goal City had wrongly ruled out in a quarter-final elimination to Liverpool last season, called for it to be used in the competition this term.

“The referee must be helped by the technology. It’s not nice to score a goal in that (way) but it happened to us last season against Liverpool so the referee must be helped.”

Sterling also apologised to Kassai after kicking the ground as he attempted to chip the ball goalwards.

“I went to chip the ball and don’t know what happened,” said the England international. “I didn’t feel contact. I scuffed the ball, apologies to the ref.”

Ahead of the game City had been in the news for the wrong reasons in recent days with a series of allegations published by German magazine Der Spiegel claiming the English champions attempted to bypass UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

Whatever storm clouds may be brewing in City’s boardroom, it appears they can do no wrong on the field as they warmed up for the Manchester derby on Sunday by smashing six goals for the second time in four days.

 Jesus punishes Shakhtar 

A lack of atmosphere had been blamed for City’s surprising record of three defeats in their previous three Champions League games at home.

The latest of those to Lyon in front of plenty of empty seats at the Etihad in September has now been long forgotten as back-to-back victories over Shakhtar and Hoffenheim have put City in a commanding position at the top of the group.

The fans were in better voice with fewer jeers than usual for the Champions League anthem and they soon had something to cheer when Silva tapped home Mahrez’s cross.

Guardiola apologised to Gabriel Jesus for nominating Mahrez as the penalty taker when the Algerian missed from the spot late on in a 0-0 draw at Liverpool last month.

The Brazilian started up front ahead of Sergio Aguero with one eye on keeping the Argentine fresh for Sunday, but Jesus may now have played himself into contention by more than doubling his tally for the season.

Jesus calmly slotted home the hotly contested spot-kick before Sterling curled in his seventh of the season from the edge of the area three minutes into the second half.

Possibly embarrassed by his earlier award, Kassai resisted a few more claims for a City penalty but did eventually point to the spot once more when Silva was tripped 18 minutes from time and Jesus fired into the roof of the net.

Mahrez made it five by sneaking a shot in at the near post on his weaker right foot before Jesus’ chip rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.

Guardiola also had the luxury of being able to take off Kyle Walker, Fernandinho and Silva early ahead of United’s visit as City look to go 12 points ahead of their local rivals after just 12 games of the Premier League season.

AFP