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The BT Sport Coverage Of The Atletico Madrid & Man City Altercation Was An Absolute Farce

The BT Sport Coverage Of The Atletico Madrid & Man City Altercation Was An Absolute Farce
By Gary Connaughton

Last night's Champions League game between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City was an enthralling affair, especially as the contest entered the closing stages.

With the tie very much in the balance as the Premier League club held a one goal advantage, Diego Simeone's men pushed for an equaliser and were perhaps a tad unfortunate not to get one in the end.

While some of the football was exciting towards the end, there has only been one talking point after the game. There has been a huge amount of discussion about the unsavoury scenes that unfolded as we entered injury time, with players from both sides becoming involved in a brawl after a confrontation between Stefan Savic and Phil Foden.

The Atletico Madrid defender certainly behaved poorly during this period, appearing to throw a headbutt at Raheem Sterling and also pulling the hair of substitute Jack Grealish.

It was the only topic of discussion on BT Sport after the game, although their coverage of the incident was very difficult to listen to at times.

Presenter Jake Humphries, along with pundits Rio Ferdinand, Joleon Lescott, and Owen Hargreaves, were absolutely appalled by the behaviour of the Spanish side.

 

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Conveniently, they gloss over Manchester City's part in all of this.

The incident only kicked off after Phil Foden rolled on the ground after being tackled, intentionally rolling back onto the pitch in order to waste time. This is what prompted the reaction from Savic, and while he did go overboard after that point, his initial attempt to get the City player off the pitch was understandable.

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As for Jack Grealish, he was the instigator between himself and Savic. He attempted to exchange verbals with his opponent, walking onto the pitch to do so despite the fact that he was actually a substitute at the time.

BT Sport even took the very odd step of pixelating Grealish's mouth so that you could not see what he had very clearly called Savic. They went on to defend the Englishman's role in all of this:

Ferdinand: What Jack Grealish said there, and obviously we can't say it on air, that gets said by nine out of ten players on the pitch at some point in most games. There are verbals that go on and you have a bit of back and forth with people, but it doesn't result in that.

Savic will look back on that and think 'that's no my finest moment'...

Hargreaves: I thought the emotional control showed by Manchester City throughout that was spectacular.

You get the feeling that if the roles were reversed the criticism may not have been quite as strong from those in the studio.

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After all, how could you question the character of English players?

Rio Ferdinand went on to question why Grealish was targeted by the Atletico squad, once again ignoring the fact that he was the one that inserted himself in this situation by coming onto the pitch when he should not have.

Manchester City would see out the game despite the pressure exerted by Atletico, thanks in no small part to some clever game management.

Their players repeatedly went to ground claiming to be injured in order to wind down the clock, something that is common in such situations.

However, the stark difference in tone when this matter was discussed was obvious. While Atletico were to be condemned for blurring the lines of fair play, Sterling and Foden were to be commended for being street wise.

Ferdinand: You saw today, that rolling back onto the pitch (by Phil Foden) was a little bit of experience, he's running the clock down. We always go and salivate and speak so positively about Simeone's teams and the dark arts and the way they slow games down and make it difficult for opponents.

City done that a couple of times and they don't like it, their tempers boiled over.

Lescott: Even before that, the fact that he recognised he's not getting that ball but then made the tackler react the way he did, obviously it ended in a man getting sent off. It shows a good level of experience from Phil Foden.

Again, it was likely to be a different conversation if it was an Atletico player that has used the 'dark arts' to get a City man sent off.

There was certainly a common theme when it came to the discussion around the coverage of the game on BT Sport last night.

It was certainly a hard watch at times, something that can be said with an increasing frequency regarding the coverage of both the Premier League and Champions League on BT Sport.

SEE ALSO: Atletico v City Descended Into Absolute Chaos At The Death

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