Pep Guardiola blasts ‘unacceptable’ FA Cup decision as he vents anger to Gary Lineker | Football | Sport

Pep Guardiola launched a scathing attack on the football authorities following Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final victory against Chelsea. The Catalan labelled City’s schedule as ‘unacceptable’, with the Blues forced to play less than 72 hours after their Champions League exit against Real Madrid.

Speaking to BBC Sport’s Gary Lineker, the City boss said: “It’s unacceptable. Coventry City, [Manchester] United and Chelsea don’t play in the week, but they let us play today.

“It is impossible. It is for the health of the players, it is not normal. It’s unacceptable to play 120 minutes, all the feelings of football players, the emotions in the semi-final, the way we lose and everything.”

Guardiola continued: “I know in this country, [the FA Cup] is special for many things, but it’s for the health of the players. I don’t understand how we survived that today.”

Lineker stepped in and asked Guardiola if he’d raised these complaints with the authorities, to which he responded: “Gary, do you think our demanding is going to change something?

“The only power I have I say here, it’s not going to change anything. But why do we play today and not tomorrow, with one day off, when Coventry, United and Chelsea don’t play in the week. Why don’t [we] have one more day for the health of the players?”

He added: “And me as a manager. Tell me how I prepare this match against Chelsea in the best moment of the season, and keep the prestige of the cup. How? It’s impossible.”

Lineker was quick to bring light to the situation, by suggesting it “might be our fault” – a cheeky reference to the influence television picks have on kick-off times, before Alan Shearer chimed in with some advice for Guardiola. In response to Guardiola’s complaints, the ex-Newcastle United man said: “You can change your squad around and play different players though. You don’t have to play so many players at the game on Wednesday, I know you made four changes.”

Guardiola was quick to hit back, with the ex-Barcelona man saying: “I thought a lot, but I remember three years ago it happened the same. We played [Champions League] on Wednesday, travelled to play here [in the semi-final] against Liverpool. I made a lot of changes, 3-0 at half-time.”

City were forced to ride their luck at times against Chelsea, with the west Londoners spurning several high-quality chances. However, the Manchester-based club will return to the capital for the FA Cup final on May 25th to face either Coventry or bitter rivals United.

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