Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has revealed how he and his teammates felt after the controversial handball incident in their defeat toLiverpool.
Premier League leaders Liverpool went nine points clear ofCitywith a 3-1 over their title rivals at Anfield on Sunday.
But there was controversy over Fabinho’s opener, with Trent Alexander-Arnold appearing to have handled the ball in the City penalty area in the build-up to the goal.
Gundogan said the City players watched a replay of the incident in the dressing room immediately after the defeat.
A VAR check found that the incident ‘did not meet the considerations for a deliberate handball’.
AndGundogansaid he and his team-mates felt they had been hugely disadvantaged by the decision.
“What do you want me to say right now? Obviously as a City player it feels like a disadvantage for us,” said Gundogan in quotes reported by theManchester Evening News.
“We saw the incident again in the dressing room afterwards and for me, obviously, it’s a penalty – but if you ask a Liverpool player they would say ‘You can give it but it’s maybe a 50 – 50 Situation ‘.
“I don’t think it’s easy to judge and I’m not here to make a statement on that, but there were a few situations where I thought maybe we could have had a decision for us. It didn’t happen and there’s nothing you can do. ”
That was a reference to two more penalty shouts, when Raheem Sterling appeared to be shoved over by Sadio Mane, and then another cross hit the arm of Alexander-Arnold.
City also felt that Salah was offside when he headed in an Andy Robertson cross to make it 2-0.
Liverpool had gone for the jugular after Fabinho’s stunning strike broke the deadlock, and Gundogan felt that was the killer goal.
“It was, also maybe because of the action just before the goal was scored, “he said. “I felt like they were a bit positive in the seconds after the hand situation, and Fabinho scored a great goal.
“It’s always tough when they score the first, especially at Anfield, and then go straight away for the second one, with the crowd and their emotions.
“It takes a tough mentality to fight against that and unfortunately they scored the second straight after. It’s a defeat and we have to take it. ”
However, Gundogan refused to concede defeat in the title race, saying:” We have to accept it, but there is a long way to go. Last season in January we were quite far behind and able to turn it around.
“But we are not independent any more – we have to see how our competitors do, especially Liverpool, and that makes the situation more uncomfortable.
Liverpool vs Man City
“We have to keep trying to play well and amass as many points as possible.
“I don’t feel the title has already gone, and I don’t think the Liverpool players will feel like that, because we are all professionals.
“We all try to do our best on the pitch but sometimes it doesn’t work out – we are human beings.”