I watched Blades’ no-goal twice ... just to make sure

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By STU­ART BREN­NAN

ALEKS Zinchenko was so un­sure about Sh­effield United’s off­side ‘goal’ that he watched two re­plays af­ter­wards.

City seemed to have fallen be­hind to Lys Mous­set’s break­away goal, as he peeled away from the Ukraine in­ter­na­tional and slot­ted a shot un­der Clau­dio Bravo in the first half.

But an in­cred­i­bly tight de­ci­sion by the video as­sis­tant ref­eree (VAR) ruled the goal out - lead­ing to both sets of fans chant­ing their dis­ap­proval of the new tech­nol­ogy.

Zinchenko said his in­stinct, as the near­est player to Mous­set, was that the Blades star was off­side, but he was con­cerned enough to watch it back twice.

“The mo­ment was so quick but I knew that from my side he was far­ther than me, and that’s why I was 100 per cent sure he was off­side,” he said.

“But even after the game I watched it a cou­ple of times and was so wor­ried. It was so dan­ger­ous be­cause Eric was fur­ther than me and I didn’t know about him.”

Fans hate VAR, but what about play­ers?

“Ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent. My opin­ion is that we have to ac­cept it, that’s it, and play our game.

“What can we do? If I was to say ‘I don’t like VAR’, noth­ing will change. You just have to ac­cept it, keep your mouth closed and play.”

City bounced back from that dif­fi­cult mo­ment to win 2-0, and clinch a new record for man­ager Pep Guardi­ola.

He be­came the fastest man­ager to reach 100 Premier League wins, achiev­ing it in 134 games, eight faster than Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and 25 sooner than Jur­gen Klopp at Liver­pool.

Zinchenko did not hes­i­tate to hail the new record, say­ing: “It’s un­be­liev­able. He’s the best in the world, no doubt.

“For me, the most im­por­tant thing is he knows the right thing to say at the right time, and the team feels these type of mo­ments. Of course, he is un­be­liev­able with tac­tics as well.”

City’s hard-earned win was largely down to an­other goal and as­sist from Kevin De Bruyne.

The Bel­gian ace looked jaded and out of touch in the first half but de­spite play­ing his sec­ond game in 46 hours - burst into life after the break.

“Dur­ing the game some­times you don’t see him prop­erly, but one time he is go­ing to cre­ate some­thing spe­cial, some­thing un­be­liev­able - an as­sist or a goal that is so im­por­tant for us,” said Zinchenko.

“On the first half it was not easy be­cause there was no space. In the sec­ond half, es­pe­cially at 1-0 they started to play more open.

“It’s a plea­sure to get three points from these kind of tough games. They are so strong phys­i­cally and or­gan­ise well de­fen­sively - it’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to play against this type of team.”

Aleks Zinchenko

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