Atletico Madrid vs Manchester City wasn’t exactly lacking in needle.
The stylistic clash between Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola was always going to be a fascinating watch, but nobody quite expected the cocktail of defensive grit and tiki-taka passing to be quite so explosive.
But alas, things became very heated between the two sides as Atletico still trailed their Premier League opponents 1-0 on aggregate going into the final minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Ugly scenes at the Wanda
Guardiola was clearly feeling the pressure as his side held on for dear life in the Spanish capital, but any hope of Los Rojiblancos snatching an equaliser were surely extinguished by a late fracas.
With Felipe having wiped out Phil Foden for the second time in the game, the first incident having left the City star with a bandaged head, the closing moments culminated in what was essentially a 20-man scuffle.
Savic at the heart of the carnage
In chaotic scenes that were, frankly, hard to keep track of, Felipe was eventually given a red card for his second booking of the game, while Stefan Savic was also at the centre of attention for losing his cool.
Not only did the former City man vent his frustration by attempting to drag Foden back to his feet, but footage also clearly showed him grabbing a fistful of Jack Grealish’s hair after a verbal exchange.
Savic looked absolutely fuming as he yanked the Premier League’s record signing by his hair in what proved to be the most heated flashpoint of ugly scenes that you can check out down below:
It all kicked off at the Wanda Metropolitano! 😳— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 13, 2022
Felipe lashed out at Phil Foden and was eventually sent off, while Stefan Savić continued to lose the plot!
Chaos in Madrid! 🥵#UCL pic.twitter.com/MTYQeXxu9p
Atletico Madrid, Man City tussle, Savic pulling Grealish hair pic.twitter.com/UMx19qrZfR— for the culture reactions (@findareaction) April 13, 2022
💥 Kicking out at Phil Foden— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 13, 2022
😤 Headbutting Raheem Sterling
🤯 Pulling Jack Grealish's hair
Fair play to Manchester City for keeping their composure in Madrid 👏
🎙 @rioferdy5, @JoleonLescott and Owen Hargreaves praise Pep Guardiola's side.#UCL pic.twitter.com/JPmcOrzIi0
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call a fracas.
In fact, things got so out of hand between Savic and Grealish that emotions even spilt over in the tunnel with remarkable footage having since been made public.
Diego Simeone fuming
And naturally, Simeone wasn’t exactly happy with what proved to be a chaotic end to the match as images emerged of him passionately confronting the referee upon the full-time whistle.
Diego Simeone with the referee after the final whistle pic.twitter.com/uiyFMDCCtI— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 13, 2022
An unsavoury end to a tense tie
It’s not exactly the way that UEFA would have wanted such a high-profile Champions League clash to conclude, but there is always the risk of things kicking off when it comes to Atletico.
While City no doubt played a role in some of the unsavoury clashes towards the end, there’s no denying that the brand of football played by the Spanish champions was provocative at best.
And it didn’t seem to bother the Atletico fans in attendance that all the s***housery displayed by Simeone’s men wasn’t enough to secure the victory as they proudly applauded their team after the final whistle.
For what the home team might have lacked in a finishing touch, they certainly made up for with the kind of tricks and ploys that guaranteed the game would leave a sour taste in the mouth.