What did Jack Grealish say? Stefan Savic hair pull and Man City vs Atletico Madrid tunnel ‘fight’ - explained

Violence erupted after a tackle from Felipe on Phil Foden.

Spanish police were forced to intervene when an off-the-pitch clash between Manchester City player, Jack Grealish and Atletico Madrid’s Stefan Savic threatened to turn violent in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Wednesday evening.

With the game on a knife edge, tempers boiled over when the £100 million signing, Grealish and defender Savic were both involved in an altercation in the tunnel as both teams left the pitch.

Manchester City progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second successive season, after a 1-0 aggregate win over the current La Liga champions.

So, what did Jack Grealish say, and why did the altercation happen?

What happened in the 90th minute?

With Atletico needing a goal to keep their Champions League dream alive, they were chasing the game. After a corner, England’s Phil Foden carried the ball forward, getting deep into the opposition half.

Brazilian defender Felipe, who was already on a yellow card, came across to tackle Foden and after successfully winning the ball, took a swipe at Manchester City forward, leaving him  in visible pain.

Eager to see the game restart, former City defender Savic came across to drag an injured Foden off the pitch, causing the City bench to react , with Ukrainian defender Olexander Zinchenko the first to respond..

What did Grealish say to Savic?

After the players were all congregated on the far left touchline, Grealish squared up to the Montenegrin defender, leaning in, appearing to say to the centre half, “yeah, you’re a c***.”

This then prompted Savic to pull on Grealish’s hair.

The game played out for another six or so minutes, and then when the final whistle sounded, Savic reportedly confronted Grealish in the tunnel prompting a police presence.

A television camera caught the clash on camera and it appeared to show objects being thrown in the tunnel.

How have people reacted to the altercation?

BT Sport commentator Darren Fletcher said: “[Jack] 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,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher added: "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.”

Freelance football journalist, Amos Murphy, joked: “Atletico Madrid had one fewer (2) strokes of Jack Grealish’s hair, than they did shots on target (3) across the two legs.”

Men in Blazers, a television show on Peacock, jested: “Savic just pulled Jack Grealish’s hair. You can’t do that. You can destroy the monarchy. Cancel Churchill. Ban Tea Time. But Grealish’s hair is a British institution. War must be declared.”

What is next for Manchester City?

The current Premier League champions are still firing on all fronts in all available competitions. They face league rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup on Saturday, April 16, aiming to win the competition for the first time since 2019.

The club also progressed to the last four in the Champions League, and have dreams of winning their first ever Champions League, after falling at the final hurdle in 2021.

If they are triumphant, it will be Pep Guardiola’s first European Cup since 2011, when his Barcelona side beat Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley, thanks to goals from David Villa, Lionel Messi and Pedro.

In the league, City are still in pole position for the league title, as they remain one point ahead of Liverpool, who claimed their first league title in 30 years back in 2020.

The side met at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, April 10 where they played out a 2-2 draw, with goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane cancelling out strikes from Gabriel Jesus and De Bruyne.

On the continental front, City now face the other team from Madrid, Real, in the semi-finals.