Police had to intervene after a poor finish in Atletico Madrid’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final spilled over into a post-match confrontation in the tunnel.
City will face Real Madrid in the semi-finals after holding a late rally draw from much-improved Atletico in the second half at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday to go 1-0 up on aggregate.
Tensions flared in the 91st minute when Atletico defender Felipe was sent off for a foul on Phil Foden, sparking a brawl that continued in the tunnel after the final whistle.
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Television images showed Stefan Savic attempting to confront Jack Grealish, having previously been shown pulling the hair of a City player during the melee following Felipe’s red card. Substitute Sime Vrsaljko was restrained by Atletico’s coaching staff, and Kyle Walker was kept by goalkeeper Ederson, before police moved in to restore order.
“The game can drive you crazy like that, when you’re putting pressure and creating chances for them, but they’re down, wasting time,” Atletico captain Koke said when asked about the car. red card and the unfortunate things that happen afterwards. “It’s football. We’re often criticized for that, let’s see what people think about it today.”
Atletico’s players were angered by what they felt were City’s efforts to run down the clock as they secured a 1-0 lead in the first leg.
“In an intense game like that, that can happen,” said Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak. “People come on from the bench, there’s a lot of tension, it’s normal to push and say bad things. What happens in a game, stay there. That’s it. good for Man City, it’s a bit of a waste of time.”
However, Man City defender Aymeric Laporte hit back, saying: “Whoever was wasting time is their team, getting into a pointless fight.
“We’ve known what they’re like and they always do. It’s bad to see these fights, a lot of noise is made for little. I think it’s bad for them because they’re where they are. in the best moment of the game.”
Pep Guardiola refused to answer a question about wasting time, but City midfielder Rodri admitted that there are times when it is necessary.
“When you’re locked in the back and when there’s five to 10 minutes left, we have to play with other weapons,” Rodri said.
“I don’t like to do it during the game, but sometimes. What’s on the pitch will be there. It was a game with a lot of pressure and I really don’t know what happened to Felipe, but It’s not comfortable at all.”
Both Oblak and coach Diego Simeone said they had not yet seen anything happen in the tunnel, as they remained out on the pitch after the game to thank the Atletico fans for their support.
“I didn’t see it. I was with the players, clapping the fans,” Simeone said in a post-match press conference. “When I go up the stairs [in the tunnel]There’s no one here.”
Simeone denied that he had aimed a mocking round of applause at City’s bench and faced Guardiola in extra time – saying: “I don’t welcome the opposition bench, I applaud the fans. ours,” – but remained annoyed by Guardiola’s comments about Atletico’s defence. tactics after the first leg.
“Usually, people with large vocabularies are very smart and they often compliment you disrespectfully,” says Simeone. “But those of us, who have smaller vocabularies, we’re not that stupid.
“Football has so many facets. I won’t give my opinion on how opponents behave. We will focus on us, play against the best team in the world and realize that we can compete. But that doesn’t make me happy, the only thing that makes me happy is winning.”
https://www.espn.com/soccer/uefa-champions-league/story/4641690/manchester-citys-tunnel-clash-with-atletico-madrid-leads-to-police-intervention Manchester City’s tunnel clash with Atletico Madrid leads to police intervention