Football: Guardiola says Man City's hectic schedule taking toll on squad as injuries pile up

Pep Guardiola says his team had six massage tables set up by the side of the pitch to treat players during training for the FA Cup semi-final which they lost 3-2. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said their intense fixture schedule is taking a heavy toll and that his squad were administered "71 treatments" between their games against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool last week.

City's last four games comprised home and away Champions League matches against Atletico as well as Premier League and FA Cup fixtures against Liverpool, all in the space of 12 days.

Kyle Walker and Kevin de Bruyne missed their FA Cup semi-final defeat by Liverpool after picking up injuries against Atletico in the second leg, which ended 0-0. City won 2-1 on aggregate and play 13-time champions Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

"Our physios made 71 treatments in the space between Atletico Madrid and the semi-final against Liverpool," Guardiola told reporters.

"The doctor came to me. But it's not for just one game, it's after these three 'finals'. (The medics) told me as it was more than usual. The schedule is what it is."

The Spaniard said they had six massage tables set up by the side of the pitch to treat players during training for the FA Cup match.

The Premier League champions trail leaders Liverpool by two points but can return to the top if they beat Brighton later on Wednesday (April 20).

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