05 May 2022 | 08:22 | Football
Manchester City got the goalless draw they needed to get past Atletico Madrid and move on Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday but the match was marred by a mass brawl at the end of the match that continued to rage in the tunnel after all the time. Police were seen in the tunnel at the Wanda Metropolitano as video showed heated arguments breaking out between players, including Atletico’s Stefan Savic and Man City’s Jack Grealish, with staff trying to Try to keep the players apart.
“I don’t see it,” said Diego Simeone. “I was on the field clapping in support of the fans. By the time I went inside, no one was there.”
Pep Guardiola was asked about the behavior of Atletico players. “Nothing to say,” he said.
The trouble started on the pitch, when Atletico defender Felipe caused a huge scuffle in the corner after a rough tackle on Man City’s Phil Foden.
Felipe was sent off but not before a crowd of players, substitutes and staff arrived.
“We knew it wasn’t an easy place to be, it was a hostile environment, it was a tough night all round and the way we defended and controlled ourselves with two feet was just amazing. surprised,” Man City defender John Stones told BT Sport.
In the end, Kevin De Bruyne’s first leg match last week at the Etihad Stadium proved enough for City to win 1-0 on aggregate in Madrid, although the Belgian was ruled out with an injury. injury, if significant, would be. a hammer blow to their treble hopes.
Kyle Walker also hobbled in the second half.
Now, City will face Real Madrid, with Liverpool facing Villarreal in the semi-final remaining to complete an all-Spain-England formation in the final four.
Simeone has been heavily criticized for Atletico’s negative tactics in the first leg and there is only one slight change here, with the plan still to keep the game tight before the final push.
Atletico came close, eliminating some late chances, but instead City advanced to the semi-finals for the second year in a row, amid once again their first Champions League win.
“If we play like we did in the second half, we don’t have a chance,” said Guardiola. “We are playing against Real Madrid, the kings of this competition. We will suffer.”
After a boisterous ceremony before the game kicked off with the words “Pride, Passion, Feel” being blared throughout the crowd, Atletico got off to a lively start, sending City high and jerking their heels in. midfield area.
Foden was bumped by Felipe, Stefan Savic pushed Ilkay Gundogan over and Walker poked a ball out, under tension from the Atletico press.
But City survived the early attack, physically attacking and establishing control, even as Atletico looked to be a threat at the break, only to fail with their final pass.
– Gundogan counter post –
City’s possession should have been mid-half when a superb pass from Riyad Mahrez freed Walker, whose pass went past the sliding Atletico defenders and found Foden at the post.
He tagged Gundogan for a simple-looking finish but the ball went wide of the post. In the challenge, Gundogan’s header was saved by Felipe.
Atletico, though, have risen again after the restart, the crowds coming to them. Antoine Griezmann’s volley misses the post, Ederson has a tense shot and Marcos Llorente saves Joao Cancelo. Guardiola patted the sidelines, trying to bring his team back to life.
With 25 minutes to go, De Bruyne was brought on for Raheem Sterling and as soon as Simeone decided to attack, Angel Correa, Yannick Carrasco and Rodrigo de Paul all came on.
De Paul’s first touch was a shot right in front of the post and City are now retreating, camping in their own half, accepting or unable to stop Atletico’s pressure.
Simeone rolled the dice, Luis Suarez and Matheus Cunha hit the field for the final eight minutes.
In the 86th minute, Correa went down to let Cunha down, but his shot was blocked by Stones’ left foot shot. From the corner, Ederson failed to clear the ball and the keeper conceded a goal but Savic was unable to save it.
A fierce controversy erupted late in the game when Foden was knocked down again by Felipe, who swung his leg at the City midfielder on his way down. A flurry of players, substitutes and staff rushed in and minutes later, Felipe was sent off.
With nine minutes of injury time, Gundogan should have settled for Man City, but Atleti survived. De Paul tested Ederson with a free kick, the Brazilian then shot wide as Correa took the final shot.
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