On Wednesday night, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid were captured by cameras in the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano Tunnel.
After a slow second leg of Champions League quarter-finals, the tie came alive in the last minutes of the match. It was ignited by a brawl that broke out after Phil Foden’s foul. Jack Grealish and Stefan Savic also came to blows, with the latter pulling the hair of the former Aston Villa star – the Atletico defender then headbutted Raheem Sterling soon after.
But the drama didn’t stop there as footage shows that police and club officials had to stop players from coming to blows down the tunnel. The clip shows Savic having to be ushered away before substitutes Kyle Walker and Sime Vrsaljko exchanged words – with the Atletico right back seen throwing a water bottle and potentially spitting at a cluster of City staff and players.
BT Sport reported that police had to sprint up the tunnel after Grealish had and Savic found one another after the last whistle. Darren Fletcher said: “Grealish was walking down the tunnel and Stefan Savic caught up with him. All of a sudden there was a commotion at the mouth of the tunnel and people just ran to that area.
“The two players disappeared from my view but very quickly after four police officers came charging to that area as well. I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened, but Savic was involved again. Grealish was trying to leave the field and it was another very unsavoury incident here. Symptomatic of what we’ve seen over the last 15 minutes.”
Joleon, an ex-defender for the City, continues: “Savic had an issue with Jack in the first leg, you can see it’s a personal issue. There was something there. The rest of the Atletico players are congratulating fans, whilst he’s in the tunnel. It’s a selfish act.”
City will face Real Madrid in the semi final of the competition. Real Madrid will be on a high after beating Chelsea on Tuesday night. Kyle Walker and Kevin de Bruyne were both forced to leave the pitch against Atletico. While the extent of their injuries are not known, it is a concern for the Etihad Stadium outfit.
Pep Guardiola will surely be delighted that none of his players were sent home for being disruptive during the quarter-finals. Owen Hargreaves commented on this matter: “I think that comes from Pep. If that wasn’t Pep managing that team, somebody would’ve snapped.
“I’m sure he said to them that they can’t afford red cards. Someone in our team when we played would’ve bit back. You feel threatened. Pep has told them, and they dealt with it really well.”