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Pep Guardiola slams ‘unacceptable’ scheduling in furious post-match rant to Gary Lineker

Pep Guardiola slams the ‘unacceptable’ scheduling his Manchester City side face, in a furious post-match rant to Gary Lineker.

It came after Man City beat Chelsea 1-0 to reach a second successive FA Cup final, but Pep Guardiola took issue with the game taking place 72 hours after the “punch in the face” of losing their Champions League quarter-final to Real Madrid in a penalty shootout after extra time on Wednesday.

Guardiola questioned why his side’s semi-final tie couldn’t have instead be staged on Sunday and Manchester United’s with Coventry on Saturday instead.

He expressed his frustrations, speaking to BBC Sport, where he was joined by Gary Lineker, Micah Richards, Frank Lampard and Alan Shearer on the touchline at Wembley.

When asked about the turnaround between the games against Real Madrid and Chelsea, he said: “It is unacceptable. It is really unacceptable,” Guardiola said. “Coventry [and] Man United and Chelsea don’t play in the week and let us play today. Next week on Friday would be better, instead of Saturday put it [the match] on Friday for recovery.

“It is for the health of the players. It is not normal. Honestly, it is not normal. It is not possible. It is unacceptable to go 120 minutes. All of you are football players. The emotion too, Madrid, the way we lose.

“I know in this country this is special for many things, but it is for the health of the players. I don’t understand how we survived today.”

Lineker then asked Guardiola if he had personally raised the issue with the FA. Guardiola answered by explaining further why he was unhappy with the scheduling of the fixture.

Guardiola replied: “Gary, do you think demanding is going to change something? The only power I have, I say here.

“I know it is not going to change anything, but why do you play today and not tomorrow when Coventry, United and Chelsea don’t play in the week?

“Why don’t you have one more day for the health of the players? Tell me how you prepare for this match against Chelsea in the best moment of the season, the semi-final of this prestigious FA Cup. How? It is impossible. There is no chance.”

Shearer suggested that Guardiola could make several changes to his line-ups for both games against Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Pep responded by explaining why recent history has affected his team selections this season.

“You can change your squad around,” said Shearer. “You don’t have to play so many players in a game on Wednesday, and you made only four changes today.”

Guardiola then answered: “I know I had, I thought a lot. I remember two or three seasons ago it happened the same thing – we played in Dortmund on Wednesday, travelled Saturday here against Liverpool, made a lot of changes, 3-0 at half-time they destroy us. After we saved face in the second half.

“So I changed a lot and thought a lot with the staff. This player, that player. Most of them were not recovered, it is impossible. Not just physically, the way that we play. Mentally it’s so, so tough to recover.

“These guys are legends, what they have done for seven years they’ve proved it again. Rodri, the way he played today and Kyle [Walker] was there after injury for three or four weeks, played 120 minutes and now running with [Nicolas] Jackson and [Mykhailo] Mudryk at the end. I don’t know how they survived – hats off.”

Man City edged past Chelsea to reach the FA Cup final, Chelsea dominated much of the game but Bernardo Silva’s late strike punished the Blues.

Player ratings (per Sky Sports)

Man City: Man City: Ortega (8), Walker (7), Stones (6), Akanji (7), Ake (7), Rodri (6), De Bruyne (8), Bernardo (7), Foden (7), Grealish (6), Alvarez (7).

Subs used: Dias (6), Doku (7), Bobb (n/a).

Chelsea: Petrovic (7), Gusto (6), Chalobah (7), Silva (7), Cucurella (7), Caicedo (6), Fernandez (6), Madueke (6), Palmer (7), Gallagher (7), Jackson (6).

Subs used: Disasi (n/a), Mudryk (/a), Sterling (n/a), Chilwell (n/a).

Player of the match: Kevin De Bruyne.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino: “The most important thing is to be clinical and not concede.

“Even if today we competed well, I cannot say we were the better side. We can take positive things from this game. This group of players need these kind of moments.

“Now is a time to finish the season in the best way and then talk about how we can be better.

“Now we play Tuesday against Arsenal, another very good team, and we need to be ready.

“Maybe Manchester City didn’t have enough time to recover, it’s also the same for us on Tuesday.

“We need to assess the team in a different way and not compare to the history of Chelsea. The evolution is good but we need to be ambitious and think how we can improve.”

Twitter users had their say as Pep Guardiola slams the ‘unacceptable’ scheduling in his furious post-match rant to Gary Lineker…

@Londonknee: 115 charges are unacceptable.

@LiquidatorPod: He forgot Chelsea play again on Tuesday didn’t he

@tomgriffinaim: 115 charges and no punishment is not acceptable. Playing 2 matches in a few days, not so much. And what was it like taking drugs as player?

@Gazby77: About time they learned what happens in the real world. Most people have to graft at least 8 hours a day for 46 weeks a year for a pittance, whilst they cry and whine about having to kick a ball for 90 minutes two of three times a week, for obscene amounts of money.

@tchilembe: Now ask yourself how do the EFL guys feel? 46 games? Two to three games a week. Other than that, this is the consequence for winning. You know that Pep…

@RoyLlowarch: The sooner the so called big six clear off and join a European super league the better it will be for English football!!

@Ciotog3: I can think of 115 thing’s more unacceptable to be fair

@GlynBough: It’s also unacceptable to be paid 250k to kick a ball, but it happens. Get over it.

It’s May 1985, Everton are champions.
Beating QPR on May 6.
2 days later, West Ham at home.
3 days on, a trip to Forest.
Off then to Rotterdam for a European Final, 4 nights later.
3 days on, FA Cup Final.
Stop talking shite Pep!
The price of success.

@villa_pogue: Try managing Truro mate. 2 games in 24 hours; 5 in 7 days 10 in 14. Take your pick

@Gandermonium: You win games, you generally get to play more games. That’s the sport. That’s how it works.

@andymhunt3: Get over it for God’s sake, some non league teams have played 10 games in 20 days and players have had proper jobs to go to!!!

Dates of Gateshead’s last 5 games
Thursday 11th
Saturday 13th
Monday 15th
Wednesday 17th
Saturday 20th (early kick-off)
Excuse me if I find it difficult to have sympathy

@nigetassell: Man moans that his team had to play on a Wed and then on a Sat. Truro City finished their season playing 13 games in 28 days, with some of their ‘home’ games being played 200 miles away in Gloucester. Their players also have day jobs. And they don’t travel by private jet.

Halifax this week ⬇️
Sat – Had to play At Accrington
Tue – back at Accrington
Thu – played at Chesterfield
Sat – Eastleigh Away.
Now preparing for Playoffs
Wed – V Alty
Sunday – Semi
Following week final.
We’ve got a 24 man squad who aren’t paid £100,000 a week

@_kieranbl: Used to love Pep. Can’t stand him now. You’ll soon be jetting off to Saturn in July ready for the next season. Twat

@cathypops2010: Your players are paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, you have the best facilities so they can recover and you have a massive squad of players to choose from. We have no sympathy just because you’ve had to play Wednesday then Saturday.

@philcparry: Get over yourself Pep… @NGUfootballclub have just played 6 League matches in 12 days since the 9th of April … don’t see their gaffer going on tele moaning 😂😂

@salfordsmith61: Glad Shearer pushed back on Pep here. He has a big squad and unlimited wealth at his disposal – a better manager rotates his squad to ensure the players aren’t over doing it. The others just stand in awe whilst he spouts his nonsense like disciples eagerly wanting to please him.

@Tom_Whitton_: Show this man a league two fixtures list and he faints. Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Saturday, Tuesday, papa johns, fa cup, Saturday. He’d just die right there and then #efl

@EwanJM: Hard pushed to find a shred of sympathy from any fan of any club outside the big six. A club with two players in every position who’s walk into any other first XI, unlimited funds, the best training facilities, best data scientists, best physios.. Bore off.

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