‘I never criticised Atlético,’ insists Pep Guardiola after City advance to last four | Champions League

Pep Guardiola claimed that he had by no means criticised Atlético Madrid’s taste, after a nerve-racking, edgy evening which ended with Manchester City putting directly to a one-goal result in achieve the Champions League semi‑finals and a combat within the tunnel. But Diego Simeone, the Atlético supervisor, didn’t seem to be purchasing Guardiola’s rationalization, insisting: “We’re not stupid.”

Koke Resurrección, Atlético’s captain, accused City of “falling on the floor and wasting time”, simply as Atlético have been accused of doing, one thing that used to be admitted afterwards by means of the midfielder Rodri, who famous “everything’s licit in football” however insisted it used to be best the case within the ultimate “five to 10 minutes”.

There have been a mass disagreement within the nook simply prior to the general whistle. And Simeone denied he had mockingly applauded the City bench, insisting he used to be clapping the enthusiasts.

There used to be additionally bother within the tunnel, with the police pressured to interfere. Footage confirmed Stefan Savic and Jack Grealish confront each and every different whilst Sime Vrsaljko needed to be held again as he might be observed throwing one thing and spitting at City workforce. Asked about that photos, Guardiola responded: “Nothing to say.” Simeone mentioned he had no longer been there and no longer observed anything else. City’s supervisor did, although, reply to tips that it used to be ironic that he had followed the way Atlético have been accused of, by means of insisting the ones accusations had no longer come from him.

At the top of the primary leg Guardiola had famous that “ever since prehistory” it’s been exhausting to stand a crew that defends very deep with two traces of 5, phrases that have been interpreted as a dig by means of many in Spain, in all probability even together with Simeone himself.

“I have only ever had good words to say about him,” Guardiola mentioned after the second one leg. “He can play however he wants, of course. I would never say otherwise. All I said was that it is very hard. And they know how to do that better than anyone in the world.”

Asked if Guardiola had proven a loss of admire, Simeone mentioned: “I don’t have to offer an opinion about whether someone is speaking well [of us] or not. Often, those who are very eloquent are very intelligent and have a way of praising you dismissively. But those of us who maybe have less eloquence are not stupid.”

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In the top, City needed to dangle directly to a lead, in search of to run down the clock to give you the chance thru. “We had no other choice,” Guardiola mentioned. “Atlético were absolutely brilliant. I don’t like playing that way at all but this team [Atlético] playing like his with their people behind them are almost unstoppable. All I said was that when a team plays that way very, very well, it’s very difficult. Nothing else.

“Don’t be mistaken, I never criticised Atlético,” Guardiola mentioned. “They pushed us back, we forgot how to play. That’s to their credit. We’re celebrating going through but after that second half we could be out. We were in big, big trouble. They had chances to score, but they didn’t in the end.

“If we play in the semi-final like we did in the second half, we don’t have any chance.”

Atlético’s captain, Koke, identified that City’s gamers went to floor to waste time in the second one part. “Lots of the time we get criticised for this situation, and now let’s see what people think of this today,” he mentioned. “You’ve seen it, you can express an opinion.”

Rodri mentioned: “Everything is licit in football. We tried to play. It’s true that in the end, because of the quality of your opponent, we were boxed in and when there are five or 10 minutes left you play with that weapon [time wasting]. I am not in favour of doing it the rest of the time, but in the end sometimes it happens. When that [the melee] happened, I tried to stay out of it; it’s my team mates and my ex-teammates and it is not at all pleasant for me.”

“We played surely the best team in the best team in the world and we competed,” Simeone concluded. “Football has many facets, ways of playing, and I am not going to have an opinion on what our opponents’ behaviour was like.”

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