Manchester City have been criticised by football fans on social media after allegedly rejecting their Community Shield runners-up medals on Saturday.
The reigning Premier League champions suffered a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.
Substitute Julian Alvarez cancelled out Trent Alexander-Arnold’s first-half opener In the 70th minute, but late goals from Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez earned Liverpool the first trophy of the 2022-23 campaign.
It was a bad day at the office for City’s star summer signing Erling Haaland, who missed several opportunities to score on his competitive debut.
The 22-year-old’s close-range miss shortly before the full-time whistle is likely to give him a sleepless night.
Did Man City refuse to collect Community Shield medals?
ITV Sport (per Joe.co.uk and others) claimed City’s players chose not to accept the runners-up medals laid out for them.
Indeed, City’s players were not seen collecting their medals before Liverpool’s players lifted the Community Shield.
This went down badly with football fans on social media:
Pep Guardiola: Man City did accept the medals
But City boss Pep Guardiola insisted these accusations were wide of the mark during his post-match interview with ITV.
The interviewer said: “Your players didn’t receive their medals, they didn’t accept the medals…”
Guardiola immediately interjected, replying: “Of course we accepted the medals.”
The interviewer responded: “It wasn’t easy to see…”
Watch Guardiola’s interview here:
"We did everything but unfortunately we did not win." 🗣— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 30, 2022
Pep Guardiola spoke to @gabrielclarke05 after Man City's defeat to Liverpool and also clarified that his side did accept the runners-up medals pic.twitter.com/wG1Y43ErFC
City’s players could be forgiven if they’d preferred not have collected their runners-up medals.
Who knew runners-up medals in a Community Shield were a thing, anyway?
Their focus will now turn to next weekend’s trip to West Ham on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.
Liverpool, who are expected to be City’s biggest challengers for the league title once more this season, kick-start their campaign away at Fulham next Saturday.