Newcastle United captain Kieran Trippier has insisted he did not intend to hurt Kevin De Bruyne when he brought down the Manchester City playmaker in the second half of his side’s 3-3 draw with the Etihad club.
With the game poised on 3-3, De Bruyne received the ball deep in his own half and was racing away on a counterattack when Trippier brought him down on halfway with a sliding, knee-high challenge.
Referee Jarred Gillett immediately produced a red card, only to reverse his decision after consulting with VAR. De Bruyne was furious and confronted Trippier following the foul, and again at full time.
But the England star has denied deliberately trying to hurt the City player.
Speaking about the incident, Trippier said: “I’d sacrifice everything for my team, but I wouldn’t injure anybody. I apologised, but I want to win. I wouldn’t hurt another player.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has admitted that the decision to overturn the red card kept his side in the game.
“It was a huge moment in the game. If we go to 10 men, we’re looking at a different outcome,” he said.
“I thought Kieran left the ground with his feet in the air but, on contact, was low. I don’t think it was dangerous. That is what saved him.”
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola said the tackle by Trippier was ‘probably’ worth a sending-off, although he did not contest the referee’s decision.
The City boss was more concerned with his team’s inability to handle Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who had a hand in his side’s three goals.
“Newcastle have everything, pace and quality,’ he said. ‘This is a difficult place to come. If you finish the attack, it’s no problem, but if you don’t finish, you don’t arrive to control Saint-Maximin.”