Man City players required ‘71 treatments’ between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool clashes

Pep Guardiola said his squad have faced a particularly mentally and physically demanding period

Andy Hampson
Tuesday 19 April 2022 22:30
Comments
Kevin De Bruyne suffered an injury against Liverpool (Jon Super/AP)
Kevin De Bruyne suffered an injury against Liverpool (Jon Super/AP)

Pep Guardiola has revealed the Manchester City staff administered 71 different “treatments” to players between last Wednesday’s game at Atletico Madrid and the FA Cup semi-final loss to Liverpool.

City were beaten 3-2 by the Reds at Wembley on Saturday, a result which ended their hopes of winning a treble this season.

The game came at the end of a gruelling fortnight which saw City play two full-blooded contests against Atletico as well as another clash – a high-octane 2-2 draw – with title rivals Liverpool in the Premier League.

The second of those Atletico encounters, a hard-fought goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano which saw City reach the Champions League semi-finals 1-0 on aggregate, was a particularly intense and fractious affair.

Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gunodgan all suffered knocks and did not feature at the weekend and Guardiola said there were several others feeling the strain of the heavy schedule.

Guardiola said: “Our physios made 71 treatments in the space between Atletico Madrid and the semi-final against Liverpool.

“The full figure is 71, it’s true. The doctor came to me. It’s not from one game, it’s from the past (three).

City were involved in a hard-fought game against Atletico Madrid last week (Nick Potts/PA)

“It was not just one or two, it was a lot of players. That’s what they told me. I didn’t ask them what it is normally, what is the average, but I am sure it is less.

“We didn’t have time to train, we didn’t have time to prepare a proper semi-final against Liverpool.

“We had six massage tables on the pitch watching the guys who didn’t play in Madrid doing the training session.

“Before Liverpool and Atletico it was so demanding mentally and physically. It is fatigue but it is normal and the schedule is what it is. The players gave everything.”

Guardiola made seven changes for semi-final against Liverpool, most notably bringing in Zack Steffen in goal in place of regular first choice Ederson.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen made a costly blunder against Liverpool (Nick Potts/PA)

The American was guilty of an horrendous error for Liverpool’s second goal in their 3-2 win, miscontrolling close to his line and allowing Sadio Mane to score.

But Guardiola has defended his selection.

He said: “I’m pretty sure he slept bad. I didn’t speak with him but I’m pretty sure he didn’t feel comfortable.

“But I prefer that than the day after the game you go out to take a drink outside. I prefer you sleep bad and worry for the team.

“In the FA Cup I’ve always played the second keeper because he deserves to play. We were there because Zack made incredible saves against Southampton.

“It was an accident, it happens. Am I going to blame Zack? Come on.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in