‘Unacceptable’ - Pep Guardiola launches into on-screen rant after Man City FA Cup win

Pep Guardiola launched into an on-screen after Manchester City's FA Cup win over Chelsea.Pep Guardiola launched into an on-screen after Manchester City's FA Cup win over Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola launched into an on-screen after Manchester City's FA Cup win over Chelsea.
The Manchester City boss wasn’t in a happy mood despite his side booking a place in next month’s final.

Pep Guardiola described the decision to put Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, just three days after the draining Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, as ‘unacceptable’.

A late Bernardo Silva goal ensured City won 1-0 against Chelsea at Wembley to somewhat make up for the heartbreak of the team’s European exit in midweek. City played an intense 120 minutes against Madrid and it showed in the performance at Wembley, with Guardiola’s side far from their best and they looked jaded for long spells.

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Unsurprisingly, the City boss felt the scheduling was unfair on his side, especially given Manchester United and Coventry City, who play in Sunday’s second semi-final, didn’t have a midweek match.

Despite grabbing a dramatic and valuable win, Guardiola was clearly frustrated when he spoke to the BBC just minutes after the game. “It’s unacceptable that Coventry and United don’t play in the week and they let us play today,” he told a slightly taken aback Gary Lineker. 

“Next week on Friday will be better. It’s impossible. It’s for the health of the players. It’s not normal. We don’t have the courage to tell and [if we suffered] a defeat I would shut up, but it’s not acceptable. 

“It’s impossible to play 120 minutes, the emotion of Madrid, a semi-final, the way we lose. Honestly, I know in this country it [the FA Cup] is special, but it’s for the health of the players. I don’t understand how we survived today.

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“Do you think us demanding is going to change anything? The only power I have is to say here,” he continued. “It is not going to change anything. I know it for many years, but why do we play today and not tomorrow when Coventry, United and Chelsea don’t play in midweek? 

“Why don’t we have one more day for the health of the players? As a manager, tell me how you prepare this semi-final against Chelsea in the best moment of the season. How? It’s impossible, there’s no chance.”

City’s win means they still retain the chance to claim a first consecutive league and cup double in English football history. But it could have been a different story on Saturday had Chelsea converted their plethora of chances earlier in the game, with Nicolas Jackson missing three big opportunities to hand his side the lead.

“The transitions they killed us - it happened in Madrid and when you lose easy balls the defensive system, it’s impossible to avoid transitions,” said Guardiola. “In the first half we lost a lot in the beginning and the pace from Cole [Palmer], from Jackson, from [Conor] Gallagher… the game was so tight. 

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“We won, but we could lose. They had two or three one-against-one against our keeper. We had chances but it was so tight. I could not expect differently. But after 70 minutes, please, extra-time, no.”

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