Pep downplays Aguero row: I 'love him a lot'

MANCHESTER, England -- Pep Guardiola has played down his touchline row with Sergio Aguero by insisting he still loves the Manchester City striker.

Guardiola and Aguero appeared to have a heated exchange after the Argentinian was substituted in the 66th minute of the 2-2 draw with Tottenham but the City boss insisted the issue had only been caused by a misunderstanding.

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"He believes that I was upset with him for the goal we conceded but that was a corner," said Guardiola. "It was a one versus one movement. He thought I was upset with him, I am animated but I was a player, I know what it's like. We talked after and during, I love him a lot as a player."

Aguero had earlier put City 2-1 up against Tottenham after Raheem Sterling's opener had been cancelled out by Erik Lamela. Lucas Moura scored a second equaliser in the second half before City were denied all three points when Gabriel Jesus' stoppage-time goal was chalked off by the VAR when Aymeric Laporte was adjudged to have handled in the build up.

It was more VAR misery for City against Spurs after they were knocked out of last season's Champions League thanks to a Fernando Llorente goal that was given and a late Sterling strike that was ruled out by the television ref.

"Why is it not hands with Llorente last season and why hands today?" said Guardiola, who was also left frustrated when VAR failed to spot Lamela bundle over Rodri in the penalty area in the first half.

"Why? That is what we need to qualify, [Andreas] Christensen not hands [against Liverpool in the Super Cup] and Laporte today is hands. You have to see it quite properly.

"It's a penalty when Rodri went down but VAR in that moment was taking a coffee. We are going to live the season in this situation, it is what it is and we have to accept it and it will make us stronger."

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted City had "dominated" the game after his team scored twice from their only two shots on target. The hosts' performance was enough for Guardiola to brand it one of the best during his three years at the Etihad Stadium but despite their 30 shots only producing two goals.

"People say you can do better but I don't know if it's possible," said Guardiola. "We only conceded two shots against that team with the quality they have, they didn't create a lot. "We played the best game in our time together, it was so good, but unfortunately not a win.

"If we continue in that way and play in that way we don't have regrets and that's the most important thing."