Pep Guardiola apologizes to Steven Gerrard for ‘unnecessary and stupid comments’

Pep Guardiola has apologized to Steven Gerrard after referring to the former Liverpool captain’s infamous misstep during a passionate defense of Manchester City against allegations of financial wrongdoing on Friday.

The City boss hypothetically asked whether City should also be held responsible for Gerrard’s mishap in 2014, which led to a Chelsea goal and victory, giving the Manchester side the lead in a tight title fight.

The incident was celebrated by City fans as they responded to Guardiola’s rallying cry by creating a raucous atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium ahead of Sunday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

Steven Gerard

Steven Gerrard’s slip cost Liverpool in the 2014 title race (Peter Byrne/PA)

Ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal, Guardiola said: “I apologize to Steven Gerrard for my unnecessary and stupid comments I made about him last time.

“He knows how much I admire him and his career and what he has done for this country where I live and train.

“I’m ashamed of what I said because he doesn’t deserve it. I really believe my comments about defending my club, but I didn’t represent my club properly by putting his name in these stupid comments.

“I’m sorry, I said to him personally, but I have responded publicly and I have to do it here too. I am so sorry for him, his wife Alex, his children and family because it was stupid.”

Erling Haaland remains a doubt for City’s trip to the Emirates Stadium.

The Premier League’s top scorer was substituted at half-time after a knock on Villa.

The Norwegian, who has scored 25 goals in the league this season, took part in a recovery session on Monday but is due for further assessment ahead of the top game at the Emirates Stadium.

Guardiola said: “We will train this afternoon, at the moment I don’t know. Yesterday was a recovery from the match against Aston Villa and that’s all.”

Erling Haaland suffered an injury against Aston Villa

Erling Haaland injured against Aston Villa (Martin Rickett/PA)

City go into the game with a chance to take over at the top after cutting the Gunners’ lead to three points with their win over Villa.

It was a strong response to last week’s defeat at Tottenham and Guardiola is now hoping to build momentum.

Guardiola said: “I don’t believe in these statements that one week you can win and everything is perfect, tomorrow you can lose and everything is not good.

“There are still many games to play, many points. Tomorrow is another one, it is (an) important one, we know it, everyone knows it and we must try to perform well.

The highly anticipated match is the first meeting between the two sides this season, but last month they faced each other in the FA Cup as City won 1-0.

Guardiola said: “So far they are the best team in the Premier League. They played an incredible first round (of games).

“When we played against them a few weeks ago, we felt how committed and sharp they are.

“We have to try to read the game and it will be a big, big battle. You have to be ready in every department.”

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