Pep Guardiola responds to Diego Simeone over intelligence remark

In such a tight affair in such a tense situation, it’s no surprise that emotions ruled after the Champions League quarter-final between Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Not only did the scuffles between the players necessitate the presence of the police after the match, Diego Simeone added more fuel to the fire.

The Argentine manager didn’t name Pep Guardiola but more or less accused his opposite number of ‘praising [him] with contempt.

Guardiola wanted nothing to do with that characterisation. Appearing in his own press conference after the match, he had this to say on Simeone.

“I have only ever had good words to say about him. He can play however he wants, of course. I would never say otherwise. All I said was that it is very hard. And they know how to do that better than anyone in the world.”

“Don’t be mistaken, I never criticised Atlético,” said Guardiola pointedly. ”

Moving on to analysis of the actual football, which at times seemed lost on the night, Guardiola was content just to make it through. Their hosts had increased the pressure in the final stages of the match. The Guardian recorded his responses.

“They pushed us back, we forgot how to play. That’s to their credit. We’re celebrating going through but after that second half we could be out. We were in big, big trouble. They had chances to score, but they didn’t in the end.”

Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the semi-finals, with the first leg taking place on the 26th of April.

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