Manchester City players told not to use social media over VAR frustrations

Pep Guardiola revealed he instructed his Manchester City players to refrain from sharing their frustrations about VAR decisions on social media after their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

The defending champions, now fourth in the standings, are nine points behind Jurgen Klopp's league leaders after Sunday's loss at Anfield, which had several contentious moments.

City were furious not to have had a penalty for a handball seconds before Liverpool broke forward and took the lead through a thunderous strike from

Bernardo Silva had handled the ball first, with it deflecting onto Trent Alexander-Arnold's arm, which was adjudged to not have been in an unnatural position given the short reaction time.

The visitors were also aggrieved that what they felt was another handball by the right-back went unpunished, while Raheem Sterling didn't get a penalty after going down in the box under minimal contact.

Guardiola refused to comment on any of the incidents, repeating: "Please ask the referees and the bosses, please don't ask to me. Ask to Mike Riley, and the guys in the VAR."

However, he did say he told his players: "Heads up, guys. Do not to use the social media to say your thoughts on some departments. Talk about how good the football was."

Guardiola also insisted his exaggerated handshake post-match with the officiating team, lead by referee Michael Oliver, was not sarcastic.

"No, I was not sarcastic," he said. "It was 'thank you very much.' All the time when I speak to referees and my colleagues I say 'thank you and good luck.'"

Meanwhile, City midfielder Rodri has warned Liverpool the title race is far from over.

"We are far from them now but there is still a big part of the season left," he said. "We are not going to give up. We are the current champions and we are not going to make it easy for anyone.

"This team has shown it many times before. This team has won the Premier League two seasons in a row and that isn't a coincidence. This team has earned the respect and being considered for the title race."

Last season, Liverpool were seven points clear of City in January before Guardiola guided his team to 14 straight wins to lift the trophy for the second year in a row.

Following defeat at Anfield, Rodri was quick to remind Liverpool of their collapse while promising that City will not throw in the towel with 26 games still to play.

"Last season, the team was seven points behind and they managed to win the league in the end," he said

"We are in November. There is still a lot left. They [Liverpool] are very strong at the moment and they are having everything right. Let's see what happens in the future"