In a dramatic 3-3 draw between Manchester City and Tottenham, Erling Haaland’s explosive response stole the spotlight as referee Simon Hooper made a perplexing decision that left both players and fans bewildered.
The thrilling match at the Etihad Stadium reached a boiling point in the final moments. With City pressing for a late victory, Haaland orchestrated a brilliant through ball to set up Jack Grealish for a potential one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper, Guglielmo Vicario.
However, the celebration was cut short when referee Hooper, after initially playing the advantage, unexpectedly pulled the game back to award City a free-kick. The decision left City players, including Haaland, fuming, and they quickly surrounded the match official to express their disbelief.
Haaland, not one to hold back, took to social media immediately after the match, posting a simple yet powerful “WTF” in response to a video of the controversial incident. His father, Alfie, also chimed in with a succinct “Terrible.”
Pep Guardiola, careful not to repeat Mikel Arteta’s recent referee-related comments, expressed his frustration in a post-match interview. “Next question. I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment. It is hard when you review the image, the referee decides to blow the whistle after he has already said to play on. After the pass, the whistle, so I do not understand this action,” Guardiola remarked.
The incident sparked a wave of reactions on social media, with former Spurs player Aaron Lennon finding humor in the situation and fans expressing their dismay at the officiating. While the match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, the controversy surrounding the referee’s decision, especially Haaland’s vehement reaction, will undoubtedly linger in the minds of football enthusiasts.