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Published: 09:14 | 8/11/18

Sterling apologises over penalty


Raheem Sterling has apologised to the referee and Shakhtar Donetsk for the penalty he won in Manchester City's Champions League win over the Ukrainian side.

Sterling was awarded a penalty by referee Viktor Kassai after falling to the ground when he was through on goal. However, rather than a foul by Shakhtar's Mykola Matviyenko, the England international went to ground after catching his boot in the turf.

The referee ruled that Matviyenko had connected with his opponent and awarded a penalty, which Gabriel Jesus converted as City ran out 6-0 winners on the night.

A sheepish Sterling told BT Sport: "I went to chip the ball and I don't know what happened next. I ended up on the floor and turned around.

"I don't think I felt contact, it was just my bad. I hit the floor and scuffed the floor. Apologies to the ref and apologies to Shakhtar."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted that he knew immediately that his side should not have been awarded a penalty, but he defended Sterling for not alerting the match officials, referring to an incident in last season's quarter-final second-leg defeat to Liverpool.

“We realised immediately it was not a penalty," Guardiola said. “He could do that (tell the referee), but last season Liverpool… (Jame) Milner could say that the pass to the second goal in the 44th minute it was a legal goal.

“But (referee Antonio) Mateu Lahoz didn’t want to concede that goal, so that’s why it happened, but he could do that, yes.

“We don’t like to score a goal in that situation but (Sterling) didn’t realise. The referee at the end realised. The Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz, he realised, he didn’t want to concede.

“But in that situation (Sterling) didn’t realise because he wanted to chip, caught the grass, goes down, it’s not a penalty.”

He went on: “VAR, where is it? The referees said a long time ago there must be help, because they want to make a good performance, they don’t want to make mistakes.

“But today the game is quick, it’s fast. The players are more skilled in something.

“In the end there must be help, because it takes three, four seconds or 10 seconds for someone to say it’s no penalty, carry on, go.”

Manchester City travel to Lyon in their penultimate Champions League group game on Tuesday, 27 November live on BT Sport on the eir sport pack [kick-off 8pm]. Subscribe here

Image: Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths

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