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Champions League: Police intervene in Manchester City-Atletico soccer fight

Champions League: Police intervene in Manchester City-Atletico soccer fight
Atletico Madrid and Manchester City players were involved in several fights during and after their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match Wednesday in Madrid. Photo by Ballesteros/EPA-EFE

April 14 (UPI) -- Police officers chased players through the tunnel and broke up fights outside the locker rooms after the second-leg 2021-22 UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.

Manchester City, of England's Premier League, advanced to the semifinals through the 0-0 draw Wednesday at Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid. The Sky Blues edged Atletico, of Spain's La Liga 1-0 in total goals in the home-and-away series in the prestigious European soccer tournament.

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A spokesperson for UEFA, administrative body for soccer in Europe, told UPI on Thursday that it is reviewing official reports from the match. Those reports, submitted by a referee and a UEFA delegate, could lead to potential disciplinary measures.

Wednesday's game included 15 fouls, seven yellow cards and one red card dismissal. The teams combined to put just four of 24 shot attempts on target.

Players were tense throughout the match, but that tension turned the most violent in stoppage time. Sky Blues striker Phil Foden received a pass about 30 yards in front of his own net and took his dribble up the left flank at the start of the sequence.

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He outraced several defenders, but was stopped when Atletico sweeper Felipe slid in near the left sideline. Felipe hit the ball out of bounds as Foden jumped over the slide. Felipe then swung his leg under Foden and appeared to make contract with the forward.

Foden rolled on the ground and held his left ankle, which looked to be injured from the contact. Players from both teams then ran into the area to share words and shoves near the left corner flag, as trainers tended to the grounded Foden.

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Coaches and referees eventually separated the players. Felipe, who received a yellow card in the 24th minute, was given another yellow card, resulting in a red card and ejection. City's Nathan Ake and Atletico's Stefan Savic each received yellow cards for their roles in the scuffle.

The final whistle sounded a few minutes later, but the tension followed the teams off the field.

Savic and Atletico teammate Sime Vrsaljko were caught on camera as they exchanged more words with Jack Grealish and other City players as both teams went through the tunnel toward their respective locker rooms. Vrsaljko threw an object toward City players and was restrained by coaches.

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Local police then followed the players to the end of the tunnel and got in between the teams to break up a larger melee.

The Sky Blues, who lead the Premier League standings, take on Liverpool in the FA Cup semifinals at 10:30 a.m. EDT Saturday at Wembley Stadium in London. They host La Liga's Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal matchup at 3 p.m. April 26 at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England.

Atletico hosts Espanyol in La Liga play at 10:15 a.m. Sunday in Madrid.

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