Pep Guardiola hits out at the FA Cup schedule after the 1-0 win over Chelsea

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hit out at the FA Cup fixture after his side beat Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday to reach the final, three days after their treble bid was ended by a penalty shootout defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League .

A late goal from Bernardo Silva put City over the line, although they tried their luck against Chelsea, who were punished for failing to capitalize on the numerous chances they created.

City, without tired striker Erling Haaland, missed their usual lead and despite reaching another final, Guardiola was clearly irritated by his side’s lack of recovery time after the heartache of Wednesday’s Champions League exit.

“It is unacceptable to let us play today,” Guardiola told the BBC’s team of experts on the pitch. “It’s impossible, for the health of the players. It’s not normal. It’s unacceptable. 120 minutes, the emotions of Madrid, the way we lose, honestly.”

“I know this country is special (with the FA Cup), but it is for the health of the players. I don’t understand how we survived today.

Guardiola could not understand why City’s match against Chelsea was not scheduled for Sunday, instead of Manchester United’s semi-final against Coventry City, neither of whom had to play a match in midweek.

Speaking to reporters later, he praised the mentality of his players. “What they did today is one of the greatest things I have ever seen from a group of players after 120 minutes of football on Wednesday,” he said.

“I just want to protect my players. It’s common sense. I’m not asking for anything special or privileges.”

The move to Real ended City’s hopes of a second successive treble, but Silva’s goal ensured they are still on course to secure the Premier League/FA Cup double.

“We are happy with another final and another chance to win a trophy,” said Silva, who made up for his miss in the penalty shootout.

“We have done it many times over the years. The way this team responds to disappointments and defeats is always in the best way. Today the team showed a lot of character.”

Published by:

Kingshuk Kusari

Published on:

April 21, 2024

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