Pep Guardiola said the injuries sustained by Manchester City in their Champions League win over Atletico Madrid left his treble side in a “big problem” ahead of the second round.
A goalless draw in the Spanish capital secured a 1-0 aggregate win and saw City appear in the semi-finals for the third time in the club’s history – against 13-times champions Real Madrid.
But with Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool looming, City’s lead came at a heavy price, with Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker injured and Phil Foden needing a bandage on his head at the Wanda Metropolitano.
“We are in big trouble,” Guardiola said. BT Sport. “We cannot forget that three days ago we played a difficult match against Liverpool. We came here, we have a lot of injuries.
“I don’t know what will happen in the coming weeks but we will celebrate today. It’s the third time in Manchester City’s history that we’ve reached the Champions League semi-finals, and it’s a huge success for us. To be there.”
De Bruyne, Walker has been rated as City’s flight to London
Guardiola did not mention the severity of the injuries, but… Sky Sports News He understands that De Bruyne and Walker will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool at Wembley.
City will fly directly to London from Madrid on Thursday afternoon and remain in the capital ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final match. The Premier League leaders are set to train in south London on Friday where they will also manage their pre-match media duties.
Guardiola had “nothing to say” about the ugly scenes that marred Manchester City’s progression to the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday night.
The match ended with grudge and bitterness, with clashes on the field and in the tunnel.
Initially a fight broke out involving several players from both sides on the field after Felipe was sent off by Foden. Among the problems, Atletico defender Stefan Savic pulled the hair of unused City substitute Jack Grealish after exchanging words. Felipe was fired for his involvement.
The problems continued after teams left the field with players needing to separate in the tunnel. Television footage showed the throwing of objects and the police were reportedly involved in restoring order.
Asked about the events in his post-match press conference, Guardiola simply said he had “nothing to say”. And after coming under more pressure regarding Foden’s head injury in another poor challenge from Felipe in the first half, Guardiola said: “I’m not talking about referees or opponents either.”
There was also a hint that Guardiola threw a liquid at him as he headed towards the tunnel. “Everyone has seen the act,” he said, “but I have nothing to say.”
Guardiola preferred to focus on the determined effort of his players to demand the result amid fierce provocation and a frightening atmosphere.
“They pushed us a lot,” Guardiola said. “Atletico were excellent in the second half and we forgot to play. We were in big trouble and they had chances to score.
“We had one or two chances in the first half but in the second half of the second leg it was much better. But at the same time we defended everything.
“We had to adapt. We couldn’t get the ball and we felt the pressure. We are in the semi-finals and this is a great achievement for our club.”
How did the papers respond to the collapse of Atletico?
On the one night that Atletico Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League after a bad draw, the British media criticized Simeone’s team for their actions.
daily mirror Sports writer Mike Walters tweeted on Wednesday night: “Imagine supporting a team managed by Simeone, including Felipe and Savic, and he really wants them to win. What an animal group.”
while, daily Mail Football writer Jacques Gauguin, who was at the Wanda Metropolitano, called Atleti’s actions “really shameful” while Martin Samuel of the same newspaper called the Spanish side a “painful loser”.
TalkSPORT Host Adrian Durham added on Twitter: “Atleti Simeone is totally outlaw. Glad they’re out,” while writer Paul Hayward added: “All the snarling and snarling and Atletico couldn’t score at either leg. Savic and Felipe: Terrible.”
However, there was a very different reaction to Atletico’s performance in the Spanish newspapers on Thursday morning, with Simeone’s team praising their performance.
Marker The title went “Heart without the award”, adding that “Atletico tried to the end against the City team that did not play for anything,” while Like He wrote that “the great Atlético was one step away from imposing extra time against a shrinking city.”
In their players ratings of the game, Marker He also stated that “the world needs a leader like Savic” after a performance which saw him spark a scuffle between both groups of players with the Foden maneuver, while also appearing to hit Sterling and pull Grealish’s hair.
Manchester City matches schedule:
To be confirmed: wolves (a) Premier League
April 16 Liverpool (Wembley) FA Cup semi-finals
April 20 – Brighton (H) Premier LeagueLive broadcast on Sky Sports
April 23 Watford (H) Premier League
26/27 April – real madrid SF Champions League go
April 30 – Leeds (A) Premier LeagueLive broadcast on Sky Sports
3/4 May – real madrid SF Champions League second home
May 8 Newcastle (H) English Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 14 FA Cup Final *
May 15 – West Ham (A) English Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 22 – Aston Villa (at home) Premier League
May 28 UEFA Champions League Final*
*Subject to progress