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Sergio Agüero will not face retrospective action for placing a hand on the left shoulder of the assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis during Manchester City’s win over Arsenal as it was not deemed by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organising body for match officials, to have been an aggressive or threatening action.

The incident occurred in the 42nd minute, with Agüero apparently unhappy at Massey-Ellis for not awarding City a throw-in and instead giving it to Arsenal.

The 32-year-old Argentinian grabbed Massey-Ellis at the top of a shoulder, close to her neck, before moving away.

She shrugged off Agüero’s move in the immediate aftermath and the referee, Chris Kavanagh, did not penalise the centre-forward at the time. If he had deemed it an offence the player could have been shown a yellow or red card.

The rules state that touching an official is not an offence unless done in an aggressive or threatening manner. It is understood that the PGMOL does not view Agüero’s action as falling into either of those categories.

The striker, who was making a first appearance in four months following injury, drew criticism for the act on social and traditional media. Gary Lineker discussed it on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme with Alan Shearer and Ian Wright. “He shouldn’t put his hand on the assistant referee,” said Shearer. “It just wasn’t a good look, Gary, was it? He shouldn’t do it.”

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Wright added: “What was that? Unnecessary, unnecessarily patronising. It felt really awkward.”

Pep Guardiola was asked about the incident following the 1-0 win that was secured thanks to Raheem Sterling’s first-half goal. “Hey, come on guys. Come on guys,” Manchester City’s manager said.

“Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life. We can look at the problems in other situations but not in this one. Come on.”