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‘It’s unacceptable’

Updated on: 22 April,2024 07:30 AM IST  |  London

Manager Pep Guardiola says poor scheduling poses health risk to players as Man City beat Chelsea to enter FA Cup final soon after Champions League exit

‘It’s unacceptable’

Man City manager Pep Guardiola (centre) and Bernardo Silva celebrate their FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea at the Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday. Pics/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola slammed the “unacceptable” schedule that put fatigued Manchester City’s health at risk in their 1-0 win against Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final scheduled just three days after their gruelling Champions League exit. Guardiola was furious that the Football Association and television broadcasters set City’s semi-final for Saturday instead of giving them an extra day to recover after Wednesday’s penalty shoot-out loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Silva nets winner

Exhausted City were fortunate to survive a series of Chelsea misses at Wembley before Bernardo Silva’s 84th minute winner atoned for his penalty blunder in the shoot-out against Real. Guardiola took aim at the authorities for putting his players’ futures in danger when they could have played Manchester United’s semi-final against Coventry on Saturday instead of Sunday because neither club was in European action this week.

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“I’m incredibly happy to play the semi-finals of the FA Cup. But it’s unacceptable to let us play today,” Guardiola said. “It is impossible for the health of the players. People don’t understand the punch in the face after losing in the Champions League and playing here so soon. Why they don’t give us one more day? Chelsea, Manchester United and Coventry don’t play in the Champions League.

‘Not asking special privilege’

“It is for broadcasters? Ok don’t ask me to do extra things [for them]. I’m not asking for some special privilege. It is a risk for their health, it is a risk for many things. I know they [the authorities] don’t care, but I care,” he said.

United struggle

Man Utd’s Harry Maguire celebrates a goal v Coventry in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. At the time of going to press, the scores were locked 3-3 at full time.

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