Man City hits back at Porto over criticism of players

Man City and Porto advanced to the knockout phase of Europe's elite club competition but the latter was not happy with its opponents.

Manchester City's Fernandinho vies for the ball with Porto's Sergio Oliveira during the Champions League match.   -  AP

Manchester City has criticised Portuguese club Porto for its “ill-judged” and “targeted” criticism of the English team's players following Tuesday's 0-0 Champions League draw.

The result meant both sides advanced to the knockout phase of Europe's elite club competition but Porto was not happy with its opponents.

“The coach and players should even be grateful for the luck they had with refereeing again,” Porto said in a newsletter in the team's website.

“After the scandals of the game in England, this time a penalty was missed for Ederson's more than obvious foul on Otavio.”

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Porto also criticised City players Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho, referring to Portuguese Silva's one-match ban last year over a Twitter post concerning French team mate Benjamin Mendy that was deemed to be racist. Fernandinho was accused of lacking class.

“This is not the first time that Porto have reacted badly in circumstances like this,” a City spokesman said.

“On this occasion, it is the ill-judged and targeted criticism of some of our individual players and indeed our manager, which we wholly reject.

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“In 2012, the last season we encountered them, it was the denial by the club of clear racist behaviour of their fans for which they were investigated and fined. In this context, this latest outburst it almost as surprising as it is disappointing.”

City won the first Group C game against Porto 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium. It leads the standings going into the last round of matches with 13 points and Porto are second on 10.