The Guardian: LONDON, England, By Jamie Jackson at Wembley – After Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 to reach a second successive FA Cup final Pep Guardiola was scathing about the scheduling of the semi‑final, 72 hours after the “punch in the face” of losing Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final to Real Madrid in a penalty shootout after extra time.

    Bernardo Silva of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

    Bernardo Silva’s 79th-minute strike kept the holders on course for a double Double, yet Guardiola questioned why City’s semi-final could not be staged on Sunday and Manchester United’s with Coventry on Saturday instead.

    “I’m incredibly happy to play the semi-final of the FA Cup. I love to be in the quarter-final of the Champions League but I don’t understand,” Guardiola said. “It’s for the health of the players [my concern]. I don’t understand how we survived today. What they have done today is one of the greatest things I have seen from a group of players.

    “People cannot imagine what a punch in the face to be out of the Champions League in the way we are out. Why not give us one more day to arrive on Sunday because Coventry and United didn’t play in midweek. For broadcasters? OK.”

    While the BBC, which televised the tie, and the Football Association jointly agreed the schedule, the City manager claimed a clash next season between the Champions League and Carabao Cup could force him to field an XI from City’s elite development squad (EDS).

    Stefan Ortega saves a point-blank header from Nicolas Jackson.

    “When we play the Champions League [then] – hopefully we will qualify – it is the same week as the Carabao Cup. How are we going to play? Will we play EDS in the Carabao Cup? After next season we go to the Club World Cup [too].

    “We are incredibly happy, a lot of money, incredibly prestigious. But how many days do I give off to the players? Two weeks off and start the season again. It’s unsustainable.”

    Guardiola cited that exhaustion caused his players to under-perform versus Chelsea, naming his captain, Kyle Walker, as one. “I said to them ‘don’t fight against your feelings – if you’re sad and disappointed it’s fine [after Real reverse],’” Guardiola said. “But once you’re here, do your best. And they did it. [Manuel] Akanji and Rodri and Kevin [De Bruyne]. Kyle was injured for four weeks, played 120 minutes [Wednesday] and said he wanted to play again. Play good? No, but he was there. And it’s enough.”

    Mauricio Pochetinno bemoaned Chelsea’s profligacy. “We had to be clinical and we didn’t do that today,” he said.

    Top Feature Photo: Pep Guardiola talks to goalscorer Bernardo Silva after the final whistle at Wembley – Shaun Brooks/Action Plus/Shutterstock