Pep Guardiola tells Real Madrid president to 'fix' problem after Man City draw


Coach of Real Madrid Carlo Ancelotti talks to coach of Manchester City Pep Guardiola before the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match between Real Madrid CF and Manchester City at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 9, 2024 in Madrid, Spain.

Pep Guardiola urged Real Madrid to ‘fix’ the state of their pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu after Manchester City’s 3-3 draw in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

In a thrilling quarter-final first leg in the Spanish capital, Bernardo Silva opened the scoring after just two minutes with a display of quick-thinking from a free kick which outfoxed Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin. Madrid were level 10 minutes later as Eduardo Camavinga’s effort deflected off Ruben Dias and then went ahead as Rodrygo’s effort squirmed past City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

Phil Foden pulled City level in the 66th minute with a sublime long-range strike, while Josko Gvardiol put the visitors ahead once again with another excellent shot from outside the box. But Madrid were able to earn a draw through Federico Valverde’s brilliant volley with 11 minutes remaining.

Madrid opted to play the tie with the roof closed in order to improve the atmosphere, but Guardiola was unhappy with the state of the playing surface for the match.

‘I haven’t set foot on it, but that’s what the players have told me,’ Guardiola said after the game.

‘Don’t let the president take it the wrong way or let the people take it the wrong way. The field is spectacular, the locker rooms… it’s an impressive piece of work.

‘I remember that Real Madrid always had very good grass, it was like a carpet, but today that was not the case. But I’m sure that they will fix it, no doubt about it and no problem.’

City midfielder Rodri also echoed Guardiola’s verdict of the Bernabeu pitch.

‘It was not good, especially for the way we play, it hurt us a little,’ Rodri said.

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‘You can’t see it from above all the time. Sometimes it seems that a grass is fine and only when you get to the pitch you realise that it is not.

‘It stood up, it was not uniform so to speak. The Bernabeu has always been like a carpet, they always provide the best conditions, in that sense we do not have complaint.’

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