By Joe Harker
Manchester City will be heartily relieved at their 2-1 win over Southampton. The Saints equalised late in the game and had appeared to take two points off City, but a very late injury time goal by Raheem Sterling won the game and ensured that the Premier League leaders maintained their gap at the top of the table. There was some controversy at the end of the game as City manager Pep Guardiola appeared to run over to Southampton winger Nathan Redmond and shout at him.
Guardiola says he was telling Redmond "how good he is", though admitted that he was also expressing his displeasure at Southampton's time-wasting tactics. In his post match press conference he explained why he made a beeline for the player to make such an eager point. He said: "I was telling Nathan Redmond how good he is at the end.
"Southampton have some super talented players, Redmond is so good one against one. But they didn't want to play, they were time-wasting from the ninth minute. I just wanted them to play."
However, Guardiola's behaviour has prompted a debate over managerial antics, with some wondering whether Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho would receive a formal punishment for going up to an opposition player and shouting at them.
The Manchester Evening News has run competing pieces with one suggesting that United should be furious if Guardiola is not banned for shouting at Redmond and another praising the manager and criticising those that believe he should be banned. They make the point that no harm has been done and Redmond did not respond with anger, implying that whatever he said was not taken as particularly insulting, but point out that Mourinho has been banned for kicking a water bottle and stepping onto the pitch when other managers have escaped punishment.
The issue is less about what Guardiola said and more about the manner in which he made his point to Redmond. Redmond himself has said that Guardiola was complimenting him, saying that the City boss was "passionate, intense and aggressive" in his approach but "only very complimentary and positive". The FA have asked Guardiola to submit his written observations on the incident and set a deadline of 5pm on 4 December.
Writing in The Telegraph, James Ducker says that Guardiola should be punished for ranting at Redmond to avoid sending out the wrong message. There is nothing wrong with talking to a player on the opposing team after a game, but the manner in which he did it was less than stellar. Guardiola was "jabbing the player in the chest and frantically screaming in his face" and punishing him could send out the message that there are standards of behaviour that managers must keep to. Although the way in which the game ended certainly brought out the passionate side of Guardiola, he perhaps should have kept his behaviour in check when making his point to Redmond.