Pep Guardiola refused to condemn Atletico Madrid’s dark arts as the La Liga side lost control in the latter stages of a goalless draw with Manchester City.
City survived a tough encounter with the LaLiga champions to reach the Champions League semi-finals after a close tie in the Spanish capital. Guardiola’s team battled against an intimidating environment and a fired-up home team. But they overcame a tense quarter-final at the Wanda Metropolitano thanks to a 1-0 win in the first leg last week.
Atlético finished with 10 men due to the expulsion of Felipe. The Atlético man escaped a booking for a terrible challenge on Phil Foden in the first half. But he got a late red card for kicking Foden after taking down the man about town.
city man Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan came close to scoring when he hit the post in the first half and nearly won the final. But the visitors had to work hard in the second half.
Guardiola, speaking with bt Sport, He said: “They are the champion of Spain and they played with energy and in the second half they were better than us and we were lucky not to concede goals. In the first half we had chances, in general we are in the semi-finals, it is well deserved.
“The opponent is very tough. All the teams in the Champions League come here and suffer, so it’s important that we get through”.
When asked if Diego Simeone’s team went overboard, Guardiola replied: “Nothing to say.
On Phil Foden being attacked, he said, “I don’t know, I can’t talk about what other people do, I don’t know.”
On City’s injuries: “We’re in big trouble, so we can’t forget that we played three days ago. We travel, we come here, we have a lot of injuries now and I don’t know what will happen in the next few weeks. But today we celebrate because it is the third time in the history of Manchester City that we are in the Champions League semi-finals.
Guardiola: We are human beings
“We can’t play all the time and score four or five goals. We are human beings, we are coming off a difficult game against Liverpool”.
0 – Stefan Savić did not commit a single foul in Atlético Madrid’s two quarter-final games against Manchester City. Unexpected. pic.twitter.com/HDcHFgiyK0
-OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 13, 2022
John Stones, speaking to BT Sport, said: “We know that sometimes they try to make things happen like that. And we handle it very well. It’s not nice to talk about it. And I don’t want to dwell on that because in both games we played incredible against a team so experienced in what they do. We kept our temper and it’s easy to get carried away with stuff like that.
“We knew it was not an easy place to come. It is a hostile environment. It was a difficult night in general and how we defended ourselves and controlled ourselves on both legs was incredible.
“Phil (Foden) was a huge threat in both games. He had an instant impact on the first game and how he got us on the field tonight. He gained yards and free throws, I think he’s feeling it now.”
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