Atletico Madrid vs Manchester City could hardly have ended in more dramatic circumstances.
In what ultimately proved to be a goalless affair at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, City’s qualification for the Champions League semi-finals was overshadowed by unsavoury scenes late in the game.
Truth be told, the tension and anger had been bubbling away for some time in the Spanish capital, but it was Felipe’s unforgiving tackle on Phil Foden that saw everything kick off in the end.
Heated scenes at the Wanda
A 20-man fracas quickly spilled out of control in the final act of the game with Felipe, who had left Foden with a bandaged head earlier in the game, eventually being sent for an early bath.
However, despite the referee awarding a red card to the Brazilian, it was actually Stefan Savic who was the chief aggressor in the eyes of many fans as he proceeded to completely lose his head.
The former City defender could be seen pulling the hair of Jack Grealish after a verbal exchange, while also having attempted to haul Foden to his feet in the immediate aftermath of the tackle.
And Savic was at the heart of the chaos when the discontent between City and Atletico players transcended the final whistle and continued into the tunnel.
Further chaos in the tunnel
Remarkable footage has since emerged that gives us a glimpse into what happened amongst the bad blood at full-time and there’s plenty to unpack from what has been made public so far.
And while the bickering between Savic and Grealish might have dominated the headlines, there’s good reason to think that Šime Vrsaljko was actually one of the most active belligerents in the scuffle.
That’s because supporters have noticed that the Atletico full-back was so incensed amongst the in-tunnel controversy that it looked as though he wanted to take on the entire City squad.
Vrsaljko absolutely seething in the tunnel
With the footage appearing to show him throwing an object at the Citizens cohort as well as bizarrely making a movement akin to a head-butt from metres away, Vrsaljko certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Marry that to unconfirmed reports of spitting and even Scott Carson purportedly gesturing for things to be taken outside, it’s fair to say that Vrsaljko’s actions have made for a hotbed of drama.
As such, while more information about the fracas continues to come out, be sure to check out the behaviour of the Atletico player on a lot of people’s lips right now:
🚨🚨🚨| Šime Vrsaljko was ready to fight the whole Manchester City squad. pic.twitter.com/Q4AKneDuz7— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) April 13, 2022
Things really got messy in the tunnel between @Atleti & @ManCity. In this video you see Savic still taking on City & Sime Vrsaljko throw something at City contingent and getting nasty with Walker. This is shameful 😮 pic.twitter.com/vBxSF9OCic— Owusu Bempah Ayala (@Akwasi_Ayala) April 13, 2022
It’s all so surreal, isn’t it?
For things to get so out of hand in one of sport’s biggest competitions and for everything to have been captured on film is the sort of surreal, WWE-like drama that you don’t exactly see every day.
Only those within the tunnel will know for certain why Vrsaljko was so apoplectic and what exactly it was that he did, but the footage seems pretty clear that he was one of the most animated people involved.
It just goes to show that the Atletico squad really does live and breathe the brand of ‘s***housery’ for which Diego Simeone has become so infamous – and the City clash was certainly a notorious case of it.
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