Sergio Aguero admitted the third goal of his hat-trick against Arsenal, to move Manchester City within two points of Premier League leaders Liverpool, was a handball.
The striker headed City in front after only 46 seconds of the kick-off and added a second with a back-post tap-in just before half-time, but Arsenal’s players complained that the second-half third came off his left hand on its way in.
Referee Martin Atkinson let the goal stand, for Aguero’s 14th City table and 10th in the top-flight, but the player revealed afterwards it should have been ruled out.
“I [thought] it came off my chest, but now I see on TV it was a handball,” Aguero, 30, said. “It was important to win. The other game, I scored early and we lost, so I am very happy.”
City manager Pep Guardiola believes “everyone thought we lost the title” after their surprise defeat to Newcastle United in midweek, but Sunday’s victory moved them back within two points of Liverpool, who play West Ham away on Monday.