Tensions increased with Manchester City reaching the semi-finals of Champions League After surviving an intense battle in the return match against Atletico Madrid Wednesday.
City gained a 1-0 advantage before playing the match at the Wanda Metropolitano and drawing 0-0 in a fiery confrontation that turned ugly in the last moments.
With the tie sliding away from the hosts, some Atleti players struggled to contain their emotions and harshly criticized their opponent.
In particular, a confrontation with Phil Foden sparked a group brawl in the 89th minute, and further misbehaved Atlético defender Stefan Savi who somehow got away with a yellow card only for what happened next.
The defender was furious when Foden rolled onto the field after being brought down by Felipe, who saw a second yellow card and was sent off for the challenge.
Savic ran and tried to drag Foden off the ground before the Manchester City players stopped him. Then he pulled the hair of Jack Grealish’s substitute at City after the Englishman appeared to call him an expletive in the middle of the brawl.
The drama lit the torch leaf around the stadium as home support created a frightening atmosphere in the final minutes of the match.
Atleti coach Diego Simeone cheered on the fans, who also received a yellow card in extra time as the hosts seemed to lose their cool.
“I’m proud of what we were able to do,” Simeone told reporters after the match.
“I have absolutely no doubt that the fans will be proud of how we compete, that’s the key. Whatever you do, you compete.”
“The only thing to stress is that we didn’t win and that’s all that really matters.”
Even on full time, Savi continued his feud with Grealish down the tunnel as police were needed to separate the two teams at the mouth of the changing rooms.
The ugly scenes ruined what was a great performance by Colchoneros who wasted a number of chances to equalize against a tired City.
“On this pitch, in this competition, it’s always difficult. It’s a big compliment to the players,” City coach Pep Guardiola told reporters.
“We can’t expect every time to make everything great. We have to suffer.
“I am proud because the opponent was really good. We tried to take the ball but we couldn’t.”
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Elsewhere, Liverpool played a thrilling 3-3 draw with Benfica but won 6-4 on aggregate to reach the semi-finals.
Ibrahima Konate opened the scoring last night for Liverpool before Goncalo Ramos equalized before the break.
A brace from Roberto Firmino looked to set the second half equaliser, but Benfica made it all the more exciting with two shots through Roman Yarmacuk and Darwin Nunez.
But the damage occurred in the first leg and Liverpool advanced to the quarter-finals, where they will face Villarreal.
Meanwhile, Manchester City will face 13-time winners Real Madrid for a place in the final.
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