Pep Guardiola has apologised to former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard for mentioning his infamous slip while defending Manchester City last week.
The Spanish coach gave an impassioned defence of the club last Friday after they were hit with over 100 charges from the Premier League, most of which related to Financial Fair Play rules.
As well as naming nine Premier League clubs he claimed were ‘jealous’ of City, Guardiola also randomly brought up Gerrard’s 2014 slip against Chelsea.
‘I don’t know if we are responsible for Steven Gerrard slipping at Anfield. Was that our fault? I have respect for Steven Gerrard – but that moment belongs to us,’ said the former Barcelona boss.
But, speaking ahead of City’s trip to face Arsenal on Wednesday, Guardiola has now retracted that remark and apologised to the Liverpool legend for bringing it up.
‘I apologise to Steven Gerrard for my unnecessary and stupid comments I said the last time about him,’ said the Spaniard.
He knows how I admire him and his career, what he has done for this country that I am living and training in.
‘I am ashamed of myself, [ashamed of] what I said because he doesn’t deserve it.
‘I truly believe my comments in my previous press conference were to defend my club but I didn’t represent my club well putting his name in these stupid comments.
I apologise and I said to him personally but I have to do it here as well. I’m so sorry for him, for Alex, his wife, kids and family because it was stupid.’
Erling Haaland, meanwhile, was withdrawn at half-time of City’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa at the weekend having been clutching his thigh.
He took part in training on Monday but Guardiola played coy when asked about his top scorer’s fitness before the match, replying: ‘We train this afternoon, so right now I don’t know.
‘Yesterday was a recovery [session] for the game we played against Aston Villa, that’s all.’