Football is a sport played with great passionate intensity by the 22 players on the field. These players are always charged up, trying to do the best for their teams. And this passionate intensity sometimes makes them lose their head as well.
A very similar thing happened with Stefano Savic at the Metropolitano as Atletico Madrid hosted Manchester City.
It was the second leg of the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League. And Atletico was trying their best to turn the game around.
Having lost the first leg of the game, Atletico were looking for redemption at their home ground. On the other hand, Manchester City was looking to put a lid on the tie. As a result, the match was a riveting encounter, with both the teams giving it their all.
The incident or the clash of players took place in the 88th minute. Foden found the ball at his feet at the halfway line, with the match still tied in the dying minutes.
It was a perfect chance to start a counter-attack, and the English winger decided to initiate it. He started a fantastic solo run, drifting wider and wider as he approached the box to create a crossing chance.
Just when it felt like he would run away with the ball, Philipe Anderson saved the day for Atletico. He made a perfectly-timed tackle near the touchline to get the ball out of play.
Savic picks up a fight
However, while making the tackle, he took a swipe at Foden, which brought the player down and groan in pain. The tackle by Anderson was clean as a whistle, but the swipe was malicious as it caught Foden’s heels.
Stephen Savic, who was nowhere near the action, came running from the midfield to confront Foden. He tried to pick up Foden by his hands rather forcefully as he recovered. City’s defender Zinchenko, at the touchline, retaliated against Savic. And once he did that, all hell broke loose.
A brawl like scene was witnessed on the pitch as Manchester City and Atletico Madrid players collided sans the ball. They were seen pushing and prodding at each other, and the referee had to intervene.
He decided to penalise Savic with a yellow card. The same was the fate of Nathan Ake, who was confronting Savic in a rather undisciplined manner.
It was with the help of the Video assistance the referee could establish that the tackle by Anderson was illegal. And having already been booked in the game, Anderson had to go.
A well-contested draw between Manchester City and Atletico Madrid
The match ended in a draw, obviously. But it was not one of those boring draws where teams passed the ball around.
It was played right down to the wire. Both the teams were hungry for goals and unlucky at the same time.
Many of the chances that would have gone in, on any given day, just didn’t on Wednesday. Balls deflected off defenders, the side posts and whatnot.
It was a frustrating night for the goalscoring forwards of both teams.
Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, even admitted that “City were lucky of the two teams.” They came into this game albeit with a slender advantage because in the end, that’s what changed the dimension of the play.
Manchester City will be facing Real Madrid in the Semi-final rounds.