It was a frustrating night for Manchester City as they hosted Atletico Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final first leg. However, in the end, Pep Guardiola’s men will be delighted with a 1-0 victory on the night.
Diego Simeone’s side came to the Etihad clearly looking to keep it tight – and that’s a huge understatement.
The Spanish side set up in two banks of five and asked City to try and break them down.
After sixty-eight minutes, Atleti’s plan was working.
But then Pep Guardiola made a triple substitution with Gabriel Jesus, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden all coming on.
And it was Foden’s brilliance to assist Kevin De Bruyne two minutes later to score the only goal of the game.
But Grealish played his part, too.
Within minutes, he had drawn a yellow card from Rodrigo de Paul.
After City had taken the lead, the English midfielder was then involved in a clash with Angel Correa with the Atleti player kicking the ball in Grealish’s face. It sparked a bit of a brawl on the touchline with Guardiola holding Grealish back from retaliating.
VIDEO: Correa kicks the ball in Grealish’s face
Grealish wasn’t bothered, though. Despite being fouled five times during his 20 minutes on the pitch, the former Aston Villa man was loving it.
And footage has emerged of him rattling two Atletico Madrid players in the final minutes of the match – something that led to another scuffle at full-time.
Grealish can be seen taunting both Stefan Savic and Sime Vrsaljko after the Atleti right-back had been booked. The City man appears to be loving it as both Savic and Vrsaljko flick his hair in an attempt to wind him up.
VIDEO: Grealish rattles Atletico Madrid players
Grealish rattling the Atletico players 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/nnoJnwNEa8— . (@citykako) April 5, 2022
City fans were absolutely loving it as Atletico Madrid were given a taste of their own medicine.
You need to do more than that to get the better of Grealish.
However, after the match, his manager had a word of warning for him ahead of the second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
“We have to control our emotions and do what we have to do [in Madrid]. There will be a referee there in an incredible stadium, a good environment,” Guardiola said.
We have a feeling Grealish’s hair is going to be pulled on more than one occasion next week!