Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola defended Sergio Aguero after the striker was sent off towards the end of Chelsea’s stunning 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.
Aguero was red-carded for a challenge on David Luiz in injury time and Fernandinho was then sent off as well for an altercation with Blues midfielder Cesc Fabregas in the melee which followed.
“I don’t think it [Aguero’s challenge] was intentional. But it’s a red card and we will accept that,” Guardiola said at his post-match press conference.
“It’s a pity the match finished like this. I don’t like that and I apologise. We will accept the ban and keep going.
“We didn’t win because we didn’t score enough of our chances, not because of the referee.
“But I congratulate my team. I am proud of how we played. We created lots of chances.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte praised Diego Costa, who appeared to try to act as peacemaker during angry scenes following Aguero’s challenge.
Conte told Sky Sports: “Diego is showing he is using his passion in the right way and I’m very happy about that.”
The Italian added: “I think today was very tough and the game was open until the end. There were lots of chances for both teams to score.
“I saw lots of character from my team and that’s very important to grow. But we must continue to work and improve.”
Chelsea remain top of the table after their eighth consecutive league win.