Police were called in after a heated finish to Manchester City’s 1-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final spilled over into the player’s tunnel.
Hosts Atletico Madrid put on a superb defensive display to hold the visitors scoreless but things unraveled when Atletico defender Felipe was red-carded for a challenge on Phil Foden in the 89th minute.
A touchline brawl ensued with former City defender Stefan Savic at the center of the altercations. Savic was seen attempting to drag Foden back on to the field before head-butting Raheem Sterling and grabbing Jack Grealish’s hair.
City held on for 13 minutes of injury time but emotions remained high as the players left the pitch.
Slavic and Grealish were the first to enter the tunnel and can be seen exchanging words before City defender Ruben Dias leads Grealish away.
Atletico defender Šime Vrsaljko who played no part in the match also tried to make an impact in the tunnel. Vrsaljko is caught on camera throwing objects at the City contingent before being angrily held back.
City defender Kyle Walker meanwhile had to be restrained by teammate and goalkeeper Ederson as they walked up the steps.
Vrsaljko then launches himself and spits at the City players before being held back once again. Police can then be seen entering the tunnel and dispelling the players in an attempt to restore calm.
The ugly scenes will surely be investigated by UEFA. Atletico manager Diego Simeone claims he was too busy thanking the home fans to see the incidents in the tunnel.
“I didn’t see it. I was with the players, applauding the fans,” Simeone said in his post-match conference. “When I went up the stairs (in the tunnel), nobody was there.”
When pressed on the issue City manager Pep Guardiola did not want to stoke the tensions.
“Everyone saw the action but I have nothing to say,” Guardiola said when asked if he had anything thrown on or at him.
Manchester City will now go on to play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.
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