By Keith Hackett

2nd Nov, 2021 | 4:00pm

Hackett: Referees told to 'take action' after 'huge' Guardiola controversy at Man City

Referees need to be more aware of time-wasting after Pep Guardiola had “huge complaints” during Crystal Palace’s 2-0 win over Man City, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee insisted “referees have to act” when teams take their time over set-pieces.

Palace earned an early lead after Wilfried Zaha’s goal after six minutes before doubling their lead in the closing stages.

Despite the result, Man City ended the game with 68 per cent and 14 shots, according to BBC Sport.

“There were huge complaints from Guardiola about time-keeping in that particular game,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“I just think it’s an area where referees have got to be more aware and more proactive in regards to the amount of time-wasting that is taking place.

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“There’s a difference between time-consuming and time-wasting. It’s borderline.

“You began to see it with players creeping forward with a throw-in and the expectation of the player is to be taken back to where it should be thrown from. The goalkeeper taking his time to prepare for a goal kick. Free-kicks taking a little bit longer than normal.

“Referees have to act. Recognise and accept it’s a fact that if a team is lower down in the league and playing one of the top teams like Man City, what they’ll aim to do is, the less amount of playing time is ideal for them. There’s less time for the better team to score.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has dropped a surprise Man City-Newcastle United prediction after a boardroom row twist.