Friday, March 24, 2023

Stones praises ´incredible´ Man City performance over two legs

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 13 Apr 2022


John Stones praised Manchester City’s resolve, following a testy 0-0 draw that saw them advance past Atletico Madrid to the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.

Following City’s 1-0 win in the first leg, it was a characteristically intense atmosphere both on and off the pitch at the Wanda Metropolitano, even boiling over at the end with Felipe’s late red card.

City were fortunate not to concede in the second half once Atleti coach Diego Simeone brought the likes of Angel Correa and Rodrigo de Paul on from the substitutes bench, with Ederson called into action several times.

England international Stones commended his side’s ability to keep Atleti at bay on the pitch, as well as not get baited into immature responses following duels.

“We know that they sometimes try and make things happen like that and we dealt with it really well,” Stones told BT Sport. “It is not nice to talk about and I don’t want to dwell on it because over the two legs we played incredible against such an experienced side in what they do, we kept our tempers and it is easy to get drawn into stuff like that.

“We knew it was not an easy place to come, it is a hostile environment, it was a difficult night all round and how we defended and controlled ourselves over the two legs was incredible.”

Even when there was relative parity in the first, there was a sense Atleti had another gear, with Pep Guardiola opting for Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne with Rodri in midfield.

As the changes came and De Bruyne came off injured, Simeone’s side largely controlled the second half, and put up 13 shots to City’s two.  

Guardiola praised his side’s resilience, despite admitting they had lost control as the game progressed.

“They are the champions of Spain and they played with energy in the second half . They were better than us and we were lucky we didn’t concede,” Guardiola told BT Sport. “In the first half we had chances, overall we are in the semi-finals – it is well deserved.

“The opponent is so tough, all the teams in Champions League come here and suffer so it is important we go through.”


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