Manchester City are through to the semi-finals of this season’s UEFA Champions League as they beat Spanish champions Atletico Madrid over two legs to progress.
Pep Guardiola’s side held out for a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, having won the first leg 1-0 at the Etihad last week, and will be back in the Spanish capital for their semi-final when they take on Real Madrid.
However, much of the post-match analysis focused on the unsavoury scenes which marred the end of the second-leg tie as the match almost descended into full chaos.
Here is a breakdown of what happened to set off the initial clash, how it progressed and what Manchester City’s Jack Grealish is supposed to have said that led to a brawl in the tunnel at full time.
Felipe’s challenge on Foden ignites the touch-paper
Atletico saw more of the ball in the second half and were able to carve out a few chances without ever really troubling City’s keeper Ederson.
As the game continued, with the hosts desperately in need of a goal to force extra time, the fans grew more restless and the players more desperate.
Recognising this, the City players were able to get into the heads of their opponents with small acts of gamesmanship including time wasting.
It all came to a head in the 90th minute when Brazilian defender Felipe slid in on City’s Phil Foden as the visitors broke up the park.
Although he won the ball cleanly, the former Porto man kicked out at the England international and was deservedly shown a red card.
However, that did not come until after referee Daniel Siebert had to deal with a mass ‘brawl’ between the two sets of players.
Savic enters the scene and all hell breaks loose
Felipe’s tackle and subsequent kick out at Foden saw the City player go down off the patch by the touch line.
However, the Englishman clearly attempted to roll back on the field of play which would have meant he was treated there and the game stopped, causing a further delay in play.
It was at this point that Stefan Savic got involved as the Montenegrin attempted to drag Foden back off the pitch.
This was the action which saw the metaphorical handbags brought out.
Headbutts, swearing and a square go
Manchester City substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko was the nearest man to the incident and was first to get involved in a shoving match with Savic.
Felipe, who had committed the initial challenge, was the next man involved before it became a full blown stramash involving multiple players from both sides.
Savic, who had clearly lost his cool at this point, could be seen in replays making a forward motion with his head towards City’s Raheem Sterling but this was not picked up by the referee or VAR.
After that was when Jack Grealish became involved in the situation.
Whether or not the £100m man was acting out of raw emotion or simply trying to aggravate Savic further to ensure he was sent off is only something he will know, but the former Villa star clearly said something to upset the 31-year old.
Although BT Sport replays pixelated Grealish’s mouth, many who saw the incident live took to social media claiming that the England star directed a particularly unpleasant four letter word beginning with C and ending with T towards Savic.
To be clear, this has not been verified.
Whatever was said, Savic’s reaction was to pull the hair of Grealish - another scene not picked up by VAR or the referee.
Incredibly, Savic escaped the whole series of events with just a yellow card.
Further bookings and tunnel incident
After the battle had ended, an aggressive atmosphere remained inside the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Nathan Ake was booked for his involvement while Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Joao Cancelo would all receive yellow cards in the remaining ten or so minutes of stoppage time.
After the match, a further incident occurred in the tunnel with players once again having to be separated.
It remains unclear where and how it all kicked off but you can see for yourself by watching the video at the top of this article.