Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

Sergio Aguero: Pep Guardiola defends Manchester City striker over contact with female assistant referee

Manager says Argentina international 'nicest person I've ever met'

Pep Guardiola has described Sergio Aguero as "the nicest person I've ever met" after the Manchester City striker was criticised for putting his arm on the shoulder of assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis during Saturday's 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Aguero disputed a throw-in call which went against him early in the second half of the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

After arguing his case with Massey-Ellis, the Argentina international put his arm around the female assistant referee's shoulder as she began to walk away.

Massey-Ellis swatted Aguero’s hand away with her left arm, and play resumed. While match referee Chris Kavanagh looked to be in position to see the incident, he didn’t intervene, nor did Massey-Ellis ask him to.

Aguero, playing his first game since June after knee surgery, was criticised on social media and his former teammate Micah Richards said on Sky Sports that Aguero should "know better".

Players can be cautioned or sent off for touching match officials, depending on the nature of the incident.

But City's all-time record scorer went unpunished and in his post-match press conference, Guardiola told reporters: "Come on guys. Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life.

"Look for problems in other situations, not in this one."

Updated: October 18, 2020 08:59 AM

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