Porto lay into Manchester City in a bitter new Champions League rivalry with damning newsletter
Porto have sensationally released a newsletter slamming Manchester City as the war of words now extends to beyond their two managers.
City were held to a goalless draw in Portugal – a result that confirmed their place in the last 16 of the competition as group winners. It also guaranteed Porto’s place in the next round as runners-up too.
However, the two group fixtures between the pair have been tetchy affairs and the animosity has only developed following Tuesday night’s stalemate.
Bernardo Silva (left) and Pep Guardiola have come under criticism from Porto in a newsletter
Fernandinho (left) has also come under-fire by the Portuguese giants in a damning assessment
The Portuguese giants have blasted City midfielder Fernandinho for lacking ‘class or insight’ while Bernardo Silva and Pep Guardiola are also in the firing line.
As detailed by A Bola, Porto have hit back at Fernandinho after he had critcised them for diving a lot during Tuesday’s match.
Those accusations did not sit well with Porto who slammed the Brazilian adding that he was lucky to not be sent off.
‘There should have been a red card given to Fernandinho, who despite being 35 is a clear example that football money counts a lot, but it doesn’t buy class or notion.’
However, commenting about Silva the club are most damning as they reference his one-game ban for racism last year.
Porto claim that Fernandinho was lucky not to be sent off during Tuesday night’s goalless draw
In November 2019, Silva was banned for one match and fined £50,000 after an FA commission accepted he ‘did not intend’ a tweet about team-mate Benjamin Mendy to be ‘racist’.
Silva compared Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos – a chocolate brand available in Spain and Portugal.
Silva deleted the post 46 minutes after he published it before tweeting: ‘Can’t even joke with a friend these days.’
However, Porto have dragged that up in the newsletter by describing him as someone ‘known internationally for having been convicted of racism’.
And detailing City’s display at the Estadio do Dragao, Porto brandish Guardiola and his team as ‘lucky’.
Last November, Silva was fined £50,000 & banned for a game for a tweet to Benjamin Mendy
Silva compared his Manchester City team-mate to the character on a packet of Conguitos
‘The coach and players – who also struggled to cope with the result – should even be grateful for the luck they had with refereeing again. After the scandals of the game England [Manchester City won that fixture 3-1], this time a penalty was missed for Ederson’s more than evident foul on Otavio.’
The club’s damning newsletter comes just hours after Porto manager Sergio Conceicao reignited his war of words with Guardiola in his post-match press conference – goading him for not being able to beat his side, despite having the greater resources.
Asked if he thinks Guardiola would be unhappy with the draw, Conceicao quipped back in a flash interview with ELEVEN: ‘I would be too if I couldn’t win with the team I have and the budget I have.’
The pair do not see eye-to-eye after Conceicao claimed that Guardiola applies undue pressure on officials.
Porto manager Sergio Conceicao mocked Guardiola for failing to beat his side on Tuesday
In the reverse fixture in October, City came from behind to win 3-1 at the Etihad on a night that left Conceicao incensed by Guardiola’s ‘extremely unpleasant behaviour’ on the touchline.
The pair repeatedly clashed, with Guardiola accused of ‘speaking about our country using ugly words’ during spats between the two benches.
‘I don’t agree with him, it’s not true,’ Guardiola hit back during his pre-match press conference on Monday. ‘We didn’t pressure the referee, we are not a team who do this kind of thing. It’s not a part of who we are.
‘The five years we are here – and before then in Germany or Spain – our behaviour speaks for itself.’
Guardiola makes his point to Conceicao during Manchester City’s 3-1 win vs Porto in October
The two managers argued repeatedly during the game at the Etihad Stadium with Conceicao accusing Guardiola of putting pressure on officials with his comments
PORTO’S NEWSLETTER IN FULL
This is usual news at this time of year, but it still deserves all the prominence: FC Porto qualified for the round of 16 of the Champions League and is officially one of the 16 best teams in Europe. We did it with a group game to spare, thanks to a 0-0 draw against Manchester City at the Estadio do Dragao.
Sergio Conceicao said that he ‘wanted the victory’, but acknowledged that he was also ‘satisfied with the draw’. In the end, a point against the most expensive squad in the world was all that FC Porto needed to achieve one of their goals. The coach praised the ‘organisation’ and ‘merit’ of the team and also commented on Pep Guardiola’s bad disposition after the meeting: ‘I would also be upset if I couldn’t win with the team he has and the budget he has’ .
In fact, the Manchester City coach and players – who also struggled to cope with the result – should even be grateful for the luck they had with refereeing again. After the scandals of the game in England, this time a penalty was missed for Ederson’s more than evident foul on Otavio. In addition there should have been a red card given to Fernandinho, who despite being 35 is a clear example that football money counts a lot, but it doesn’t buy class or notion.’
One of the figures highlighted by the positive was Marchesín, who played a set of good defenses and nevertheless stressed that he was ‘happy for the team’, having been achieved ‘the most important’ before ‘a football power’. Diogo Leite, Uribe and Evanilson also underlined the success of qualifying for the eighth round and guaranteed that the group does not want to stop here. Now they will ‘work towards more goals in the Champions League’, said the Brazilian striker.
FC Porto’s success in the most difficult football competition in the world is far from new, but it cannot be diminished or trivialized. There is a data that is like cotton and that was even highlighted by Sérgio Conceição, normally averse to statistics. Yesterday the 16th blue and white qualification was guaranteed in 24 participations in the group stage, a record that surpasses double the set of qualifications of other Portuguese teams: Benfica reached him five times, Boavista once, Sporting another.
If we look only at the most recent past, this is FC Porto’s third qualification in three appearances with Sérgio Conceição as coach. It is fourth in the last four Champions League appearances, fifth in the last six. These numbers are unparalleled in Portuguese football and place FC Porto at a level far above the others. It is one thing to participate in European competitions, another thing to be a European club. In Portugal there is only one.
If there were any doubts, the disdain with which an important part of the Lisbon press treats FC Porto is in itself a testament to our success, which is always so uncomfortable. Although yesterday’s game was tied, a television channel managed to find a way to say that the national champions were ‘beaten’. And hours before the meeting, another station decided to launch a hobby (or a provocation?) To offer a shirt to an opponent of ours who is known internationally for having been convicted of racism. At night, there they had to be confronted with the reality that they do not like. It wasn’t just Pep Guardiola and Fernandinho who were unwell…