Police were called in after an ill-tempered conclusion to Atletico Madrid’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City in their Champions League quarterfinal second leg spilled over into a post-match altercation in the tunnel.
After fighting off a late recovery from a much-improved Atletico Madrid in the second half at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday to advance 1-0 on aggregate, Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the semifinals.
Tensions reached a boiling point in the 91st minute when Felipe, an Atletico defender, was sent off for a challenge on Phil Foden, resulting in a touchline fight that lasted until the final whistle.
Stefan Savic was shown on TV attempting to confront Jack Grealish after earlier being seen yanking the Manchester City player’s hair in the chaos following Felipe’s red card. Atletico’s coaching staff had to restrain substitute Sime Vrsaljko, while goalkeeper Ederson had to hold Kyle Walker back before police officers arrived to restore peace.
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When asked about the red card and the ensuing melee, Atletico captain Koke remarked, “The game can make you crazy like that, when you’re putting them under pressure and creating chances, and they’re going down, wasting time.” “It’s football after all. We’re frequently chastised for it; let’s see what people have to say about it now.”
Atletico’s players were enraged by what they saw to be City’s tactics to run down the clock while defending a 1-0 first-leg lead.
“It may happen in a stressful game like that,” Atleti goalie Jan Oblak remarked. “People come on off the bench, there are a lot of nerves, and it’s natural that there will be shoving and some foul language. What happens in a game remains in the game. It was beneficial to City, although it squandered some time.”
Aymeric Laporte, a City defender, retaliated, saying: “Their squad was wasting time by getting into ridiculous clashes.
“We’ve seen them before, and they’re always the same. These battles are usually terrible to see since so much fuss is made over so little. I believe it was unfortunate for them because they were at their peak in the game.”
Pep Guardiola has refused to comment on time-wasting, but City midfielder Rodri has agreed that it is sometimes essential.
“We have to play with additional weaponry while you’re imprisoned behind bars and there’s just five to ten minutes remaining,” Rodri explained.
“I don’t think it should be done all the time, but it should be done occasionally. What happens in the field stays in the field. It’s a high-pressure game, and I’m not sure what happened to Felipe, but it’s not pleasant.”
Oblak and manager Diego Simeone both claimed they were unaware of what occurred in the tunnel because they remained on the pitch after the game to greet Atletico’s supporters.
“It went unnoticed by me. I was cheering on the players and thanking the crowd “In his postgame press conference, Simeone remarked. “No one was present when I went up the stairs [in the tunnel].”
Simeone denied directing ironic applause towards City’s bench and opposite number Guardiola in extra time, claiming, “I didn’t applaud the opponent bench, I applauded our fans,” but he appeared irritated by Guardiola’s post-first-leg comments on Atletico’s defensive tactics.
“People with a broad vocabulary are often quite brilliant, and they can praise you while dissing you,” Simeone explained. “Those of us with a narrower vocabulary, on the other hand, aren’t so foolish.
“Football is a sport with many facets. I’m not going to comment on how the opponent acted. We’ll concentrate on ourselves, knowing that we’ll be playing against possibly the finest squad in the world and that we’ll be able to compete. But that does not make me happy; winning is the only thing that makes me happy.”