At the start of this month, the Cityzens were accused of committing smart tactical fouls by former United man and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, but that claim was rejected straightaway by Pep Guardiola.
The Spanish tactician stated: “We are a team that try to play and, of course, when there is a counterattack sometimes there is contact, the action is a foul but as a team we don’t think about that.
“Never have my teams been focused on doing something wrong against the opponents. I completely don’t agree with those comments that we are a team that is looking for these kind of situations because it never happened in Barcelona.”
“It never happened in Bayern Munich and it can never happen at City; and will never happen in the future in my career. Never,” Guardiola asserted.
But within two weeks, the decorated manager appears to have been proven wrong by his own midfielder, as Fernandinho was seen committing several tactical fouls against the Red Devils in the middle of the park on Sunday.
The Brazilian was responsible for stopping a number of Manchester United counterattacks through smartly performed challenges, many of which were deemed illegal.
But to everyone’s surprise, the player that accumulated enough fouls to get sent off wasn’t even handed a single yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor.
Naturally, both Fernandinho and Taylor were heavily targeted by the Reds’ fanbase on social networking website Twitter, with the angry reactions being as follows:
Another big result for Abu Dhabi’s financial doping. Another game where Fernandinho followed Guardiola’s tactical fouling orders unhindered by a caution. Another donation from @jonnyrmcfarlane to McBookie @garbosj on the @TransferPodcast score predictions. https://t.co/iT94OvzOKt
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) November 11, 2018
— Shamik Chakrabarty (@shamik100) November 11, 2018
I’m still thinking how Fernandinho isn’t even on a yellow yet? What is this ref doing??? #manchesterderby
— ✨Magic ✨ (@SonOfManchester) November 11, 2018
Ref very poor, diving, cheating! How has Fernandinho not been booked. Just as poor as Martin Tyler and useless Redknapp did he even play football. A tough game after a tough week of 3 away games. 2/3 wins will take that. United united. Good effort.
— Gary Thresher (@MUFCThresher) November 11, 2018
Fernandinho doesn’t get booked again #mufc
— Matt Behan (@matt_behan) November 11, 2018
Ref has been a joke today. Fernandinho has been unreal but he's blatantly stopped 2 attacks and STILL hasn't been booked, Stones rugby tackled Lukaku, no FK and dozens of other fouls. #MUFC
— Ash (@AshBoio) November 11, 2018
— Andrew Southwick (@RedBeardedRed) November 11, 2018
So did Fernandinho get booked in this game at all? Must have some dirt on the ref, has to…
— MUFC Joe (@random5tar) November 11, 2018
Still wondering what Fernandinho needs to do to get booked. Got away with atleast 3 bookable fouls. #MUFC
— Zoro (@FullMentalDevil) November 11, 2018