President Enrique Cerezo slams Pep Guardiola for ‘prehistory football’
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Atletico players appeared frustrated by what they felt were attempts by City to run down the clock as they protected a 1-0 first-leg lead and the club’s president criticised Guardiola for his gameplan.
“We are a team that has a lot of status so someone can offend us, but in the end it has been shown that everyone has their prehistory,” Cerezo told Radio Marca.
“We played a good game, attacking, and City yesterday played prehistory, defending and put a wall in front of their goal so we wouldn’t score.
“Everybody has seen it. City was a completely defensive team. In the second half they shot on goal once. Yesterday it was shown that each one has their prehistory.
“It was a match that, with a bit of luck, would have taken us to the semifinals. We were not lucky enough to score a goal and reach extra-time.”
Following the ill-tempered match, police were forced to intervene after both sets of players clashed in the tunnel.
Tensions boiled over in the stoppage-time when Atletico defender Felipe was sent off for a challenge on Phil Foden, sparking a touchline brawl which continued in the tunnel after the full-time whistle.
TV images showed Stefan Savic trying to confront Jack Grealish, having earlier been pictured pulling the City player’s hair in the melee after Felipe’s red card. Substitute Sime Vrsaljko had to be restrained by Atletico coaching staff, and Kyle Walker was held back by goalkeeper Ederson, before police officers moved in to restore order.
Guardiola’s side return to action on Saturday when they face Liverpool in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley (stream LIVE at 10:30 a.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).