Pep Guardiola 'couldn't care less' about Antonio Mateu Lahoz refereeing Champions League final

Pep Guardiola was sent off by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz when Manchester City played Liverpool in the Champions League three years ago; Guardiola said at the time: "He's a referee who likes to feel different, he's special"; Mateu Lahoz will referee Man City vs Chelsea on Saturday

Pep Guardiola was sent off after arguing with Antonio Mateu Lahoz at half-time of Man City's quarter-final defeat to Liverpool three years ago 0:34
Pep Guardiola has no concerns that Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, who sent him off three years ago, is in charge of the Champions League final

Pep Guardiola has said he has no concerns about UEFA's decision to select Antonio Mateu Lahoz to officiate the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on Saturday.

Mateu Lahoz, the Spanish referee who sent off City boss Guardiola during a game three years ago, will oversee the match in Porto.

Back in 2018, Guardiola confronted Mateu Lahoz for ruling out a goal in the second leg as City lost 5-1 on aggregate to Liverpool in the quarter-final of the Champions League.

Asked if he has spoken to the referee since that Liverpool match, Guardiola replied "no", adding: "Not one second. I could not care less. I am so confident in my team. You cannot imagine how confident I am in my team and what we have to do."

Guardiola was fuming with Lahoz following a wrongful offside call which was given against City three years ago
Image: Guardiola was fuming with Mateu Lahoz following a wrongful offside call which was given against City three years ago

Leroy Sane had scored what City thought was their second goal of the game but it was wrongly ruled out for offside, prompting a tirade from Guardiola towards Mateu Lahoz.

After the game three years ago, Guardiola said of Mateu Lahoz: "I know him from Spain so I could imagine that. I was polite, I was correct. Mateu Lahoz is a special guy, he likes to be different, he likes to be special.

"He's a referee who likes to feel different, he's special. When everybody sees things he is going to see the opposite. It's too much to send me off because I didn't say any wrong word."

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Antonio Mateu Lahoz officiated PSG's Champions League quarter-final match at Bayern Munich this season
Image: Mateu Lahoz officiated PSG's Champions League quarter-final match at Bayern Munich this season

Meanwhile, Guardiola said he has not finalised his starting XI for Saturday's final.

He added: "They are ready. I know how good they are, I have known most of them for many years. I have an idea but still the starting XI is not done, not yet."

Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side will lift the Premier League trophy in front of the fans after the game against Everton 0:51
Pep Guardiola does not believe Manchester City's lack of experience in European finals will play a part when they face Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday

Guardiola was also dismissive of Chelsea's recent wins over City in the FA Cup and Premier League, adding the Champions League final poses a fresh challenge.

preview image 4:24
An emotional Pep Guardiola paid tribute to the departing Sergio Aguero as the Argentine scored twice in his final appearance at the Etihad Stadium

"Chelsea create problems for all the teams, we have to [look at] how many problems we create for them. It is difficult to stop them for the quality they have, the setup.

"It's a team that [plays] wide, with depth, and the players in between are so close. They play really good in the pockets, they make good in-behinds.

"Congratulations for the two games they beat us. It's another competition, a final. We will see what happens."

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