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Pep Guardiola gets into feisty bust-up while Jack Grealish rattles Atletico Madrid

Pep Guardiola gets into a rather feisty bust-up while Jack Grealish rattles Atletico Madrid players in an entertaining game on Tuesday.

The current Premier League holders ended up 1-0 winners after a close-run battle at the Etihad Stadium in midweek, with Kevin de Bruyne’s 70th minute strike being the difference.

Atletico gave it as good as they got in true Diego Simeone style, but just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net against a stubborn City.

Tempers did however flare on the pitch as the game went on, and Grealish added to that when his trademark ability to draw fouls incensed the Atletico players.

Sime Vrsaljko randomly flicked Grealish’s hair in frustration, and Stefan Savic decided to taunt the winger at one point, riling Grealish to the point of a minor confrontation at full time.

This left Guardiola rather annoyed, who has since warned Grealish that the intensity would be even higher in a weeks time at the Metropolitano Stadium.

He said: “We have to control our emotions and do what we have to do [in Madrid]. There will be a referee there in an incredible stadium, a good environment.

“Only when manager’s make substitutions is because it’s going a little bit bad and sometimes it doesn’t work and it worked. The guys were playing but we knew with Gabriel and Phil they had a special energy and Jack for the quality of keeping the ball. To be the manager was so special.”

Pep Guardiola got right in the thick of it as both sets of players almost came to blows in the final few minutes of their Champions League quarter-final.

Jack Grealish reacted angrily to having the ball booted at him after being felled near the touchline, with Atletico’s Angel Correa punting the ball towards him at very close-range.

It then ricocheted off the England international’s legs before clipping him in the face, and Grealish leapt up in rage, before players from both teams started rushing in – including Guardiola, who was one of the first to get involved.

After launching a series of verbals at his opponents, Guardiola could see emotions were getting the better of Grealish as tempers continued to flare, s Pep decided to drag the midfielder away from further playing out melee.

By that point, Atletico boss Diego Simeone joined in, though he decided to act as peacemaker with the second leg in mind. Correa received a yellow card for his actions.

Before they can turn their attention to next Wednesday’s second leg, Pep’s side face a mouthwatering Premier League encounter with Liverpool that will no doubt play a big part in the title race.

“We have to be focused on what we have to do,” he added. “It’s difficult to face a team with a lot of experience in this kind of competition, we’re going to go there and try to win the game. We’ll see what happens. We have five days to prepare for Liverpool and just three days in Madrid and we’ll see.”

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Cancelo (7), Stones (7), Laporte (7), Ake (7), Rodri (6), Gundogan (7), De Bruyne (8), Mahrez (6), Bernardo Silva (7), Sterling (6).

Subs: Jesus (6), Grealish (7), Foden (9).

Atletico: Oblak (6), Vrsalkjo (7), Savic (7), Felipe, Reinildo (7), Renan Lodi (8), Llorente (7), Koke (7), Kondogbia (7), Griezmann (6), Felix (6).

Subs: De Paul (6), Correa (6), Cunha (6), Lemar (n/a).

Man of the match: Phil Foden.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola added: “It was a difficult game against a tough opponent. It was difficult to find spaces, but we were patient enough. It was a good result.

“We had one or two more chances at the end to score more goals. Even at 1-0, going to Madrid is always tough but it was a good result. We won the game, we won at Burnley, now we prepare for the next one.”

Reflecting on De Bruyne’s composed finish, manager Guardiola said: “He is in the best moment of the season right now.

“He is sharp, quick and positive. His influence in our game is massive. He scored an exceptional goal from the combination with Phil.”

Guardiola added of Foden: “He has a special quality. His reception is always forward, his space in the first step is massive and he had the composure to make an incredible assist for Kevin.”

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone: “A good performance against an extraordinary team that manages to unite lots of world-class footballers into a superb unit. We wanted to defend well, squeeze spaces and hit them on the counterattack. Just when we looked like creating our best opportunities, they scored.

“That was a very difficult match. They took off three excellent players and replace them with three equally-excellent guys. I must admit we thought Foden would start. I’d also confess that it’s enjoyable to see how City play. The patience they have. But we were both seeking the same thing, winning.

“They might be the best side in the world. We’ll change how we play a little in the second half of this tie but it’s all the same to them – City will play the same way. But with humility, and hard work, we’ll compete. Then we’ll just see where that takes us.”

Twitter users reacted as Pep Guardiola gets into a feisty bust-up while Jack Grealish rattles Atletico Madrid…

@HashBandicoott: This is the games he came to city for. Expecting a big 2nd leg from him

@someromaniankid: Need more of this next leg

@Pipinthehouse: Mans playing them with their own game

@Nathonederful: Pep knows Grealish don’t take no shit haha he has to keep him quiet. Correa just pissed they can’t keep the ball for longer than a minute

@dxntaje: Bringing on Grealish was a good decision by Pep. He used Atleti’s tactics against them. I respect it. Next round we don’t need to win. We just need to make sure Atleti don’t score. Simple

@MCFCGabster: grealish had their whole team on strings was actually genius when u think about it get them more frustrated and keep looking for the foul and u could see it got to them

@StevenMcinerney: Big lol at Grealish triggering the shit out of Atletico too.

@Seee_Hen: Pep was like a dad who was worried about his son


@rangaroses: hope your face is okay king

@Adam__2411: love this shithousery

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