Frank Lampard hits back at Pep Guardiola rant after Man City’s FA Cup win | Football

Pep Guardiola and Frank Lampard disagree over how many games footballers should play (Photo: YouTube / BBC)

Pep Guardiola unleashed a furious tirade about Manchester City’s congested schedule after they reached the FA Cup final on Saturday.

A late Bernardo Silva goal gave City the win over Chelsea at Wembley to keep the club’s prospects of a league and cup double alive.

One would have thought this would be cause for celebration, but instead manager Guardiola did nothing but rant and rave in his post-match interviews.

The cause of his anger was the fact that the semi-final took place just three days after City’s last game – the defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals that went the full 120 minutes and penalties.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Guardiola said: ‘It’s unacceptable to let us play today. It’s impossible, for the health of the players. It’s not normal. It’s unacceptable.

‘120 minutes, the emotions of Madrid, the way we lose, honestly. I know this country is special [with the FA Cup] but it’s for the health of the players. I don’t understand how we survived today.’

Asked whether he has raised the issue with the relevant authorities, he sharply responded: ‘Do you think demanding will change something? The only power I have I say here.

‘Why don’t we play tomorrow? Chelsea, Manchester United, Coventry didn’t play midweek.

‘I thought a lot. I remember two seasons ago we had Dortmund on Wednesday – and Liverpool on Saturday [in the FA Cup semi]. They were 3-0 up at half-time. They destroyed us.

‘Mentally so tough to recover. Rodri, the way he played today, Kyle [Walker], who was injured for a few weeks, I don’t understand how they survived.

Manchester City v Chelsea - Emirates FA Cup Semi Final

Bernardo Silva scored the winner for Man City in the FA Cup semi-final (Photo: Getty)

‘We want to play football. We love to play football but it’s too much. They killed us on the transition. The game was so tight. [I thought] extra time, no please.’

The subject of football’s congested fixture list has been long debated, though pundits were keen to point out to Guardiola that he could and perhaps should rotate his players more given he has one of the biggest, best and most expensive squads in the world.

Guardiola was keen to stress that he wants to ‘protect’ his players but Chelsea legend Frank Lampard saw the matter a different way, saying that he ‘loved’ the constant games and challenges that brought with it as a player.

‘I absolutely loved it. I would have days where I loved it but also I was a bit leggy and fortunately I played in a top team where someone else might dig you out with a goal like Bernardo did.

‘But I loved it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know it’s the manager’s job to come and speak as he does, to try and protect and get an advantage, put some pressure on… whether that matters or not.

‘I don’t think we can take that away. Top teams, big squads get to this level, you’re going to play lots of games and they showed today another side where they got through another tough game.’

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