Pep Guardiola was forced to enter the pitch last night in Manchester City’s victory over Atletico Madrid after Jack Grealish was caught in an altercation with a number of Atletico players.
“We have to control our emotions and do what we have to do… there will be a referee there and we will have to do our game”, Guardiola said in his post-match press conference, as shown in the video below…
Grealish was on the receiving end of a number of heavy challenges and appeared to encourage provocations by the Atletico players as they toyed with the Englishman’s hair.
The playful digs eventually boiled over for both parties as Vrsaljko and Grealish exchanged words after the City man accumulated a number of fouls courtesy of the Croatian defender, eventually resulting in the City boss running onto the pitch to pull Grealish away from a potentially escalating altercation.
Atletico Madrid wouldn't stop playing with Jack Grealish's hair ? pic.twitter.com/xcviqJmtj2
— GOAL (@goal) April 5, 2022
“They have faced this kind of knockout stages many times in Atletico Madrid’s career, more than us. It will be a good test for us [and] our maturity in this game”, Guardiola claimed.
When asked if Correa was lucky not to see red for kicking the ball at Jack Grealish late in the game, Guardiola conservatively responded, “The referee is there, it’s not my job”.
“Jack reacted really well and focussed on what we had to do for the game”.
The only real detriment to City amongst all of this was the earlier booking for Gabriel Jesus, which will now ensure the Brazilian forward will miss the second leg of the tie due to accruing his third yellow card of the competition.
When asked about this, Guardiola admitted that he was not aware that his forward was walking the tightrope, “I don’t know, I don’t have this info… I saw Joao [Cancelo] and Kevin [De Bruyne]… Gabriel [Jesus], I didn’t know”.