Pep Guardiola unleashes on the ridiculous schedule his team had to overcome to beat Chelsea

Following his team’s hard fought 1-nil win over Chelsea at Wembley in yesterday’s FA Cup semi-final Pep Guardiola unleashed about the absurd fixture his team had to overcome to book their place in this season’s FA Cup final.

With yesterday’s games coming only 72 hours after Manchester City’s epic UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid, the world champions faced an uphill battle to beat Mauricio Pochettino’s side. But they showed the heart of the champion side that they are to famously beat Chelsea against the odds and overcome a determined opponent, fatigue, and a busy schedule to continue their FA Cup defence.

READ MORE: Kevin De Bruyne drags Manchester City to a famous win over Chelsea.

Speaking with BBC Sport after his team’s win, Pep Guardiola unleashed about the fixturing of yesterday’s game. The City manager 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.

The fact that Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea was scheduled for a Saturday defies logic. As Pep Guardiola pointed out, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Coventry City have had a week to prepare for this weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals. Manchester City, on the other hand, had to face Real Madrid on Wednesday before yesterday’s clash with Chelsea. A common sense approach would’ve seen Manchester City face Chelsea today rather than yesterday. But it wasn’t to be as it became another obstacle for the FA Cup holders to overcome. The fact that they did just that speaks volumes of the mentality of Pep Guardiola’s squad.

READ MORE: City player ratings from a famous 1-nil over Chelsea for Manchester City.

Although a congested fixture list is a by-product of City’s progression to the latter stages of so many competitions, at some point, there will be a breaking point for the players. With competitions such as the UEFA Champions League, the World Cup and Club World Cup expanding the workload is ever increasing on the players. If the domestic calendar doesn’t cater for the ever expanding schedule, the game itself will suffer as a result. That is something no fan of the game wants to see. But the heavy workload is becoming common as the broadcasters and governing bodies of the game dictate the busy schedule all players now face.

Pep Guardiola was right to point out the absurd fixture his team has had to overcome. While his plea is likely to fall on deaf ears, it is an issue that needed to be raised. Whether or not Guardiola’s message is acted upon is a different story entirely.

Tags BBC Chelsea Coventry City FA Cup FIFA Club World Cup FIFA World Cup Manchester City Manchester United Pep Guardiola Real Madrid UEFA Champions League