Erling Haaland and soccer referee Simon Hooper will probably no longer be friends. Because the star striker from Manchester City got completely out of control shortly before the end of the spectacular 3-3 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening. Europe's Footballer of the Year was so upset and gesticulating so wildly that he received a yellow card. Haaland later commented on a video of the scene on
The reason was a decision by Hooper in the fifth minute of stoppage time. City wanted to counter but Haaland was brought down by Emerson Royal. But the 23-year-old Norwegian immediately jumped back up and the referee clearly decided with a hand signal that everyone in the stadium could see that he had the advantage and allowed the game to continue.
Haaland played a fantastic through ball to his teammate Jack Grealish, and the England international was free on the way to the goal. But suddenly a whistle blew: Hooper had changed his mind, interrupted the game and awarded a free kick for City.
In addition to Haaland, other players complained loudly to the referee. On Monday, the association accused City of inappropriate behavior by its players. Coach Pep Guardiola (52), who also couldn't believe the controversial decision, avoided subsequent criticism: "I sometimes lose my mind on the sidelines, my gesture wasn't right. People can always make mistakes. We didn't draw because of this late decision played," said the Spaniard.
Guardiola defended his exceptional striker, saying it was normal and “his reaction was the same as that of the other ten players”. "He's a bit disappointed," Guardiola added, adding: "Even the referee - if he had played for Manchester City today - would have been disappointed with this action, that's for sure."