Pep Guardiola fumed about the “unacceptable” match ball after Manchester City edged past Wolves and into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on penalties.
The Premier League leaders hosted the side top of the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday evening, when Claudio Bravo had to be at his best to deny Nuno Espirito Santos’ side from snatching a shock win.
The oft-maligned Chile goalkeeper again came to the rescue in the penalty shootout, denying Alfred N’Diaye and Conor Coady as City won 4-1 on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes.
Guardiola is understandably pleased to have progressed – but the fact they have to play with the English Football League’s Mitre match ball grates.
“The ball is not acceptable to play with… at that level,” the City boss said.
“We play with a different ball. It’s not Nike, Adidas I don’t know, it’s a different brand. It’s unacceptable to play with the ball.
“That ball is not a serious ball for a professional game.
“I say that because we won, eh? If I don’t win, I don’t say that because after that it’s excuses. As I won, I can tell you: it is not acceptable to play.
“If it’s for the marketing, for the money, for many reasons, it’s okay but it’s not acceptable to play with that ball.
“No weight, nothing.
“(We get the balls for) one day or two days, but the ball is bad two days, one month, one year, two years. It’s bad, it’s bad.
“The ball is unacceptable for the high of level of the competition.
“All the players complain. I assure you all of them say ‘what is that?’ Really. I am sorry Carabao Cup.”