Manchester City vs Chelsea: Why was Pep Guardiola unhappy about their FA Cup semi-final schedule?

After facing the Spanish giants on Wednesday night, it was a quick turnaround for the defending champions in the FA Cup semi-final.

Manchester City in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@ManCity
By Karthik Raman | Apr 22, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester City reached their second successive FA Cup final after edging past Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley. Among the two semi-finals, it was the one to look out for this weekend. Even though City were the favourites due to their form, the London outfit cannot be underestimated. The Blues have the quality all over their ranks to cause trouble to any side on a given day. Even though they have not been able to maintain a sustained period of consistency, the quality is evident for anyone to see.

Not to mention that Manchester City headed into this game on the back of suffering a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. After facing the Spanish giants on Wednesday night, it was a quick turnaround for the defending champions in the FA Cup semi-final. However, City picked themselves up and produced a professional display to edge out Chelsea, thanks to a late Bernardo Silva goal.

Pep Guardiola on FA Cup semi-final schedule

Pep Guardiola is delighted with the response shown by his players, however, he questioned the schedule of the clash. While City’s semi-final took place on Saturday, the other one between Manchester United and Coventry City was held on Sunday, which was won by United in a penalty shootout. “I am incredibly happy to play the semi final of the FA Cup. The schedule is tight,” Guardiola, quoted on the club’s website, said after the match.

He added: “I love to be in the quarter-final of Champions League. I don’t understand how we survived today. People cannot imagine the punch in our face, the way we were out. Why they don’t give us one more day for the health of the players to arrive on Sunday? Coventry, Chelsea, Manchester United, they didn’t play Champions League or Europa League in midweek.”

Guardiola spoke about how difficult Chelsea made it for them in transitions. However, he praised his players for the effort they put in. “The game was tight. Chelsea had incredible transitions and controlled the ball well. We lost some easy balls because we were tired. Players made an incredible effort. What they have done today was one of the greatest things I have seen in a group of players [after] 120 minutes against Madrid, [with their] physicality and the emotion. The day after recovery then yesterday, we just say ‘hi’ and you can’t prepare anything,” he explained.

Guardiola then shifted his attention to Jeremy Doku and praised the winger’s performance in the game against Real Madrid and also in the FA Cup semi-final. “He had an incredible action with Moises Caicedo and the impact from Jeremy against Real Madrid was unbelievable, too. When he arrived against West Ham, he was in top level. Always when he came from the bench, but his impact was not good. We talked about that. He changed the game. He is an incredible, exceptional player. Close to the box, he is unbelievable, but he has to improve,” he elaborated.

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