Guardiola plays down Darwin Nunez row after Liverpool star restrained by Jurgen Klopp

Will Ford
MANCHESTER, UK. 25th Nov, 2023. Darwin Nunez of Liverpool is led away by team mates after exchanging words with Josep Guardiola coach of Manchester City (L) at the final whistle during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, MANCHESTER.
Darwin Nunez had to be dragged away from an argument with Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola insists “nothing happened” between him and Darwin Nunez, who had to be restrained by Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad.

The title rivals could not be separated as City failed to capitalise on a number of chances after Erling Haaland’s record-breaking 50th Premier League goal and Trent Alexander-Arnold scored an 80th-minute equaliser.

Although the game itself was in general played in good spirits, things got heated after the final whistle as Nunez and Guardiola argued on the touchline.

The Uruguay international had to be held back by Klopp as he shouted and pointed his finger at Guardiola, who was being led away by Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders.

Despite his apparent anger at Nunez’s confrontation at the time, Guardiola played down the incident in his post-match press conference.

He said: “He is stronger than me! Listen, nothing happened. It wasn’t frustration [at the performance], I’m really pleased.

“So the second question in the press conference you ask about that? Maybe for the last question you ask about Pep Guardiola and Darwin Nunez but nothing happened!

“I am incredibly pleased for the performance we played because we know how tough they are.”

READ MORE: 16 Conclusions on Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold, Doku, Alisson, Nunez, Silva

Asked if he knew what happened to cause the row, Klopp said: “It had nothing to do with the fierce rivalry, I don’t think Darwin knows anything about it.

“I don’t think I am the one to explain [the row] because I wasn’t involved, surprisingly! I tried to calm it down but I didn’t understand a word!’

Despite giving up their lead and having to settle for a draw, Guardiola was very happy with the performance of his City side, telling Match of the Day: “That was an excellent performance.

“I am really proud that after eight years we are still playing that way. We were really good in all departments and needed to be against an incredible team.

“Maybe we missed the last pass a little bit but they defended really well. To concede just two shots on target against Liverpool is a big compliment for the way we work.”