Atletico Madrid’s efforts to start a fight with Manchester City’s players were caught on camera in the tunnel following the two sides’ feisty Champions League game on Thursday night. City progressed to the semi-finals of the competition to play Real Madrid 1-0 on aggregate after holding Atleti to a 0-0 draw in the Spanish capital, but the result was marred by ugly scenes in the closing stages.
Atletico Madrid defender Felipe was sent off in the 91st minute for a second yellow card after kicking out at Phil Foden on the touchline. In the same incident fellow centre-back Stefan Savic escaped dismissal, despite headbutting Raheem Sterling and pulling Jack Grealish’s hair in the following melee.
Referee Daniel Siebert issued nine yellow cards in total but struggled to keep a lid on things inside a boisterous Wanda Metropolitano. Diego Simeone was his usual self on the touchline and the home side’s anger and frustration spilled over once the final whistle had gone.
While the majority of the players and coaching staff of both sides were still on the pitch, either celebrating or clapping the supporters, police were seen rushing into the tunnel. Footage from inside the tunnel showed Savic and Grealish continuing their on-pitch argument before further commotion erupted behind them.
Neither Pep Guardiola nor Simeone commented on the incident in their post-match press duties. “I didn’t see it,” Simeone said in his press conference. “I stayed on the pitch, applauding the fans and saying hi to everyone that was on the pitch and by the time I went upstairs there was no-one.”
“[I have] nothing to say,” Guardiola told BT Sport when asked about the scenes. “I don’t know. I cannot talk about what other people do. I don’t know.” It was a stance he later reaffirmed in his press conference. “I don’t talk about referees or the opponents neither,” he said. “Everyone saw the action and that’s all. Nothing to say.”