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Pep Guardiola has apologised to Steven Gerrard and admitted he was ashamed of himself for his “stupid and unnecessary comments” about the former Liverpool captain’s slip in the 2014 title race.
The Manchester City manager had mocked Gerrard’s infamous error when addressing the 115 charges the Premier League have levelled at his club and the possibility they could be stripped of some of their honours as he tried to argue their medals were won on the pitch.
City went on to win the Premier League in 2014 after Gerrard lost his footing and Demba Ba scored in Chelsea’s victory over Liverpool and Guardiola said on Friday: “I don’t know if we are responsible for Steven Gerrard slipping at Anfield. Was that our fault?”
But he has since contacted Gerrard to say sorry and believes he took his comments in defending City too far by bringing in the former England midfielder, as he underlined how much he respected the 2005 Champions League winner.
He said: “I apologise to Steven Gerrard for my unnecessary and stupid comments I said the last time about him. He knows how I admire him and his career and what he has done for this country I am living and training in.
“I am ashamed of myself for what I said because he doesn’t deserve it. I truly believe my comments about defending my club but I didn’t represent my club well putting his name in these stupid comments.
“I apologise, I said to him personally but I comment publicly and have to do it here as well. I am so sorry to him, his wife Alex, his kids and family because it was stupid.”
Guardiola takes his City team to face league leaders Arsenal on Wednesday and is still unsure if top scorer Erling Haaland will be fit to play.
The Norwegian came off at half-time in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa with a minor thigh problem and Guardiola is waiting to see how the striker copes in training. He added: “There was a recovery from the game we play against Aston Villa but right now I don’t know.”