Manchester City have been charged by the Football Association for failing to ensure their players behaved in a proper manner during added time in Sunday’s Premier League match against Tottenham.
City’s players, and particularly Erling Haaland, reacted furiously when they were denied the chance to play advantage in the closing moments of a thrilling 3-3 draw after the Norwegian striker had been fouled.
Haaland had shrugged off the challenge from Emerson Royal to play Jack Grealish through on goal, but referee Simon Hooper pulled play back to award the hosts at the Etihad Stadium a free-kick.
Haaland continued to voice his anger as he left the field after the final whistle and he later went even further by posting a remark criticising Hooper on social media.
“Manchester City have been charged with a breach of FA Rule 20.1 after their players surrounded the match official during their Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 3 December 2023,” read a statement posted on the FA Spokesperson account on Twitter.
Bernardo Silva felt City suffered a “very, very bad” decision but admits the team also need to do their own job better.
“It is a bad decision and everyone saw it,” said the Portuguese midfielder. “But at the end we are all humans.
“The referee probably is the first one to know it was a very, very bad decision because he (Grealish) was one on one with the keeper and it could have given us the three points.
“It is a tough one to take, but in the end it is what it is, it’s football, and sometimes people make mistakes.”
The PA news agency understands Hooper will not be stood down from refereeing duties for the Sheffield United v Liverpool match on Wednesday.
City also had themselves to blame after spurning a hatful of chances to claim what could have been a comfortable victory, with Haaland among the guilty parties.
Haaland on Monday followed up his social media complaint, which simply read ‘Wtf’, with a good-natured response to a humorous tweet referencing him.
The 23-year-old’s incredulous expression during Sunday’s match was edited into The Scream painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
Reposting the image, Haaland wrote: “Wtf that made me smile for the first time today.”
City led 2-1 at the break thanks to a Phil Foden goal after Son Heung-min had scored at both ends in the opening nine minutes.
Jeremy Doku and Julian Alvarez also hit the woodwork in the first half, while Haaland missed an open goal after one of numerous Spurs errors.
Spurs recovered to level through Giovani Lo Celso, but it seemed Grealish had won it in the 81st minute, only for Dejan Kulusevski to equalise again in the 90th minute.
It was City’s third successive draw and saw them slip to third in the Premier League.
Silva said: “We have been conceding late goals against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and now Tottenham.
“At the end it is seven points. We could be four points ahead on top of the league if we did our job properly, which is kill the game, or at least don’t concede in the last minute. At this level those little details matter.
“We need to demand more from ourselves, each one of us.”
Spurs’ late equaliser ended their run of three successive defeats.
Kulusevski, who powered in the crucial goal off his shoulder, revealed the visitors’ stronger second-half showing came after some stern words from manager Ange Postecoglou during the break.
The Sweden international told the club’s website: “The coach was very angry at half-time. It was the first time I have seen him like that but he did the right thing.
“What we did was special in the second half. It is an unbelievable feeling. These moments in life are small. We have to enjoy them and just be thankful and be proud of the team.”