Milan dropped potentially crucial points in their bid to win Serie A after they were frustrated by Bologna in a 0-0 draw at San Siro.

The Rossoneri went into the international break holding a three-point lead on the back of three straight 1-0 wins, but they could not keep up that winning run on Monday.

Indeed, Bologna – whose coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was not present on the touchline as he is in hospital for leukemia treatment – restricted Stefano Pioli's team to little in the way of clear chances in their boss' 100th league match in charge, to the chagrin of an expectant Milan faithful.

With Napoli and Inter having both won on Sunday, Milan's advantage has now been cut to just one point with seven games remaining.

Rafael Leao had the first opportunity 16 minutes in, though the Portugal forward could not keep his shot down.

Michel Aebischer drilled straight at Mike Maignan following Marko Arnautovic's clever dummy, before Milan's goalkeeper tipped Musa Barrow's strike over after Gary Medel had made a fine block at the other end.

Bologna continued to frustrate their hosts after the restart, with Leao particularly wasteful, first skewing a cross out of play before failing to get a shot off when he had space.

Leao provided a sublime pass for Davide Calabria in the 61st minute, but Medel just managed to divert the full-back's shot wide – a touch the referee failed to notice.

Ante Rebic blazed over as Milan kept up the pressure, with Leao then curling wide from just inside the area.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given 20 minutes to try and make a difference, but the veteran headed over from the one chance that came his way as Milan were thwarted.
 

What does it mean? No milestone celebration for Pioli as pressure mounts

Pioli did not look longed for the Milan job early in his tenure, but the work he has done to turn the Rossoneri into genuine title contenders has been quite superb. Yet, his milestone 100th Serie A game in charge did not end in a victory, but instead a draw that could prove decisive.

Inter battled their way to a 1-0 win over Juventus on Sunday and are just four points back with a game in hand, while Napoli, who like Milan have played 31 times, are only a point behind the leaders. Bologna, meanwhile, did their coach Mihajlovic proud.

Medel leads brilliant Bologna rear-guard

Medel spent time at San Siro with Inter and the experienced, dogged defender was excellent at the heart of Bologna's defence, doing his old side a huge favour in the process.

He made a joint team-high two blocks, including a fantastic one from Diaz in the first half, gained possession seven times and kept things simple on the ball, completing 33 of 36 passes before he had to go off with a head injury following a collision with Ibrahimovic.

Leao found lacking as Milan pay for their profligacy

It has been a fine season for Leao overall, with the 22-year-old scoring eight league goals so far.

His finishing was found totally lacking this time out, however, with only one of his eight attempts hitting the target, while four were blocked. His wastefulness summed Milan up, as the hosts tallied up 33 attempts to no avail.

What's next?

Milan travel to Torino on Sunday, while Bologna host Sampdoria.

Wayne Rooney believes Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United has not worked out, and suggested his former club concentrate on "young and hungry" players in future.

The duo played together to great success during Ronaldo's first stint with the Red Devils, winning three Premier League titles and a Champions League in the same team.

However, despite the 37-year-old scoring 18 goals in 32 games since returning to Old Trafford, United have had a season to forget.

The club are out of all cup competitions and sit seventh in the Premier League after a 1-1 draw against Leicester City on Saturday.

Speaking as a guest on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, Rooney was asked if he agreed with fellow pundit Jamie Carragher's assertion that Ronaldo's signing had been a mistake.

When asked, 'Has it worked?', Rooney replied: "You'd have to say no, at the minute.

"He's scored goals, important goals in the Champions League early on in the season.

"He's scored the hat-trick against Tottenham, but I think if you're looking to the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift Manchester United over these next two to three years.

"Obviously Cristiano is getting on a bit, he certainly isn't the player he was when he was in his 20s, and that happens, that's football.

"He's a goal threat, but the rest of his game, I think they need more. I think they need young, hungry players."

The Derby County manager was also asked about United captain Harry Maguire, whose form has been heavily questioned this season.

"I like Harry, I know Harry personally," Rooney said. "He hasn't been in his best form this season, like a lot of players haven't.

"And then you look at England - he goes to play for England and he looks like a world-class centre back.

"A lot of it is confidence, I think the players need to feel winning again, to feel winning consistently to get that confidence back and if they do that, I think Harry Maguire is a big part of it."

A solid performance with bat and ball saw the Lucknow Super Giants seal a 12-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at DY Patil Stadium.

Super Giants captain KL Rahul (68) and Deepak Hooda (51) were the standout performers in the Lucknow innings as they set their opponents 170 to win.

Sunrisers had looked in a strong position to chase down that total at 143-4 with just under three overs left, only for a late collapse to see them fall well short.

The Super Giants were three down within the first five overs, with two wickets for Washington Sundar (2-28) in his first seven balls, claiming Quinton de Kock and Evin Lewis for a single run each, then, immediately after hitting a big six, Manish Pandey (11) could only find Bhuvneshwar Kumar from Romario Shepherd's delivery to leave them 27-3.

Hooda came to the crease and rescued things with Rahul, putting on a partnership of 87 before the former fell to Shepherd, with Thangarasu Natarajan (2-26) taking the late wickets of Rahul and Krunal Pandya (6) to seemingly limit Lucknow.

However, Abhishek Sharma (13) and Kane Williamson (16) failed to eat much into the target, and despite solid efforts from Rahul Tripathi (44) and Nicholas Pooran (34), Hyderabad ultimately fell short, with Jason Holder (3-34) taking three wickets for just three runs in the final over.

Skipper leads the way with the bat

Rahul and Hooda were the only batsmen for the victors to score 20 or more runs, but that was all that was needed after their efforts, with the captain hitting six fours and one six.

Hooda struck three fours and three sixes, and grabbed his second half-century of the IPL season so far.

Bowling attack comes to the fore

This was a classic case of the batsmen setting a defendable total, but then the bowlers having to earn their place by seizing control back late on.

Avesh Khan impressed with 4-24 from his four overs, including taking both Sunrisers openers, while Krunal (2-27) and Holder performed crucially at the death.

Diego Simeone hailed the football that Manchester City produce but promised Atletico Madrid will play where they can hurt Pep Guardiola's side in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

Atleti overcame Manchester United 2-1 on aggregate in their last-16 clash to tee up the first-ever meeting in Europe between the Spanish side and City, who cruised past Sporting in the last round.

However, Simeone and Guardiola are no stranger to one another given they have faced each other three times, with the former eliminating the Spaniard's Bayern Munich in the 2015-16 Champions League semi-final.

Atletico averaged just 27 per cent possession across the two legs and scored twice from 18 shots, while Bayern netted the same number of goals from 53 attempts, as Simeone's team progressed on away goals.

Simeone was quick to praise City's flowing attacking performances, but insisted his side will look to exploit any potential weaknesses in the City line-up on Tuesday.

"What I like most from teams like City is the effort they have to win the ball back and continue to play attacking," he said at a pre-match news conference. "They're lovely to watch.

"They continue evolving because they have great players but what wakes me up, the important things are [Raheem] Sterling, [Kevin] De Bruyne, they're always active, never leave a ball lost. All managers want that."

He added: "We'll play where we think we can hurt them, use our characteristics the way we've played for years. We play to compete and we'll see."

Indeed, the reigning LaLiga champions will become the first side to face both Manchester clubs in the knockout stages of a European competition in a season since Juventus in the 1976-77 UEFA Cup.

Juve progressed from both of those ties before winning the competition that season, but Simeone's focus remains solely on the Etihad Stadium.

"We all have pressure, I don't know if pressure is the right word," he responded when asked if City were favourites to win the Champions League. 

"We all have it but no doubt City have extraordinary players and I'm sure they have better players than us.

"All clubs in the last eight want to win the competition. There are great rivals in all knockout games and I hope we can win.

"There are two games to play. City and Bayern are favourites because they have more options in their squads but last year not many expected Chelsea to win; they got better and played a good tournament."

Guardiola joked he would "overthink" to take a different approach to what Simeone might expect, but Atleti's coach is uninterested in all of the commotion between the managerial pair facing off again.

"Not at all, City and Atletico have great squads, very competitive with good players, different characteristics," he said when asked if it was Pep versus Simeone.

"They have a lot of personality. Tomorrow is a game for footballers, we as coaches try and help them and we'll do the same. I'll say again, I like watching City play."

Ben Simmons will not feature for the rest of the regular season or the upcoming Play-In tournament, according to Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash.

Simmons is yet to debut for the Nets following his February trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, following his bitter and prolonged stand-off with the team that drafted him. The Australian guard has subsequently not played all season.

The former All-Star had an epidural last month to alleviate pressure in his back as he struggles to build his conditioning up to a level fit enough to see him return to action.

Simmons has started participating in limited practice, but Nash confirmed on Monday that the 25-year-old will not return before the end of the regular season, or for the Play-In, which takes place between April 12-15.

The Nets are on course to require two wins in the Play-In tournament to qualify for the playoffs, sitting in 10th place in the Eastern Conference after three defeats in their last four games, with an overall regular-season record of 40-38.

The north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham has been rearranged for Thursday, May 12, the Premier League has confirmed.

The Gunners caused a stir in the middle of January when they successfully appealed for their clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to be postponed, citing a COVID-19 outbreak within their squad.

The league opted to reschedule for a later date, despite Arsenal – who had injury problems, Granit Xhaka suspended and four players at the Africa Cup of Nations – reporting just one positive coronavirus test.

Questions were raised over the legitimacy of the postponement, with Spurs announcing they were "extremely surprised" at the decision, and Antonio Conte reminded Mikel Arteta he had not forgotten the call-off in March when the Spaniard bemoaned scheduling issues.

Nevertheless, the fixture will take place on the penultimate week of the season, just 10 days before the conclusion of the Premier League, and could decide who secures the final Champions League spot.

Tottenham overtook their local rivals on goal difference on Sunday with a 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United, but Arsenal can reclaim fourth spot with victory at Crystal Palace on Monday.

Even after the visit to Selhurst Park, Mikel Arteta's Gunners will still have a game in hand on Conte's top-four chasers.

However, the rearranged derby has also brought more changes to the schedule of Arsenal, who will now face Leeds United on Sunday, May 8 and Newcastle on Monday, May 16 either side of the Spurs clash.

Freiburg have reluctantly decided to appeal to the German Football Association (DFB) following "intensive" discussions within the club after Bayern Munich inadvertently briefly fielded 12 players on Saturday.

The Bundesliga leaders were 3-1 up and on the way to winning 4-1 when Julian Nagelsmann removed Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman and sent on Marcel Sabitzer and Niklas Sule.

However, Coman did not realise he was being replaced after his number was not raised, and he did not leave the pitch immediately, with referee Christian Dingert resuming the game before the error was noticed.

The game continued for several seconds before being halted as all concerned attempted to make sense of the situation, and the incident may see Freiburg declared 2-0 winners, as per the DFB rules.

According to paragraph 17, article 4 of the rulebook: "If a player was not eligible to play or be fielded in a game, the team that culpably fielded this player lost the game 2-0 and the opponent won 2-0."

This rule is only to be utilised if the match is allowed to proceed by the referee, as it was at the Europa-Park Stadion – an additional 12th player on the field would be considered ineligible to take part.

Referee Dingert acknowledged that an incorrect number for Coman was initially displayed and that it did not change the outcome of the game, but added "everything else will be decided by the DFB" to TZ.

Freiburg undertook an "intensive and extremely differentiated process of deliberation" to discuss the "mistake" by Bayern and concluded that they must appeal even if against their will in an "uncomfortable" scenario.

A club statement on Monday read: "First of all: We are in a dilemma through no fault of our own. SC Freiburg had no part or influence on the events surrounding the change process. 

"Nevertheless, the legal and procedural rules of the DFB formally force us to play an active role in order to have the processes legally checked. In principle, we have no interest whatsoever in this active role, which has been given to us against our will in terms of procedural technology, and we feel extremely uncomfortable in it.  

"We therefore consider this procedural regulation in its overall construction to be inappropriate. Ultimately, it burdens the completely uninvolved club - in this case us - with the responsibility for processing an obvious violation of the rules.

"Nevertheless, after intensive discussions at different levels and a legal examination, the board of the Sport-Club Freiburg eV decided to appeal against the rating of the game."

Freiburg cited the opportunity for the sports court to evaluate Bayern's error and the creation of future "legal certainty in comparable cases" for other clubs as decisive in the decision-making process.

Benfica are not afraid of the challenge that awaits them in their Champions League quarter-final tie with Liverpool, according to midfielder Adel Taarabt.

Liverpool enter the first leg of their showdown with Benfica at Estadio da Luz on Tuesday as strong favourites, having won 16 of their past 17 matches in all competitions.

The Reds have also won all four away games in UEFA's flagship club competition this term – only once, between 1983 and 1984 under Joe Fagan, have they won five in a row.

But having finished above Barcelona in the group stage before eliminating an in-form Ajax in the first knockout round, Taarabt does not fear Premier League giants Liverpool.

"Of course we can compete with them," Taarabt said at a pre-match news conference on Monday. "I think we can do it. 

"They are a team we have to respect, but we're not afraid of them. We know their quality and hope to be at our best."

While Liverpool may be in good form, they have lost each of their last three trips to face Benfica in European competition, the most recent of those games coming in the 2009-10 Europa League.

The Reds are a far different proposition under Jurgen Klopp, however, as they look to add the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup to the EFL Cup already won.

Taarabt, who spent seven years in English football with Tottenham, QPR and Fulham, puts Liverpool's successful streak in recent years down to a settled side.

"This team has been playing together now for four or five years," he said. "They have a lot of dynamics to them and play well. They are also very consistent.

"In the past there were a lot of players coming and going, though even when that was the case they were still a very good side."

Benfica beat Ajax 3-2 on aggregate to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for a fifth time, though they have never previously progressed any further.

Nothing will be decided in Tuesday's first leg and head coach Nelson Verissimo is hoping it will be all to play for at Anfield in next week's return fixture.

"In a two-legged tie it's always important how the first game ends," he said. "It was good for us when we played the first game at home against Ajax, and here it will be too.

"The result will be important to ensure the second leg remains open. It's important we start well, with the hope of progressing. But we know Liverpool's power."

Virgil van Dijk insists he is "just enjoying the moment" ahead of a run of games that could define Liverpool's season.

The Reds remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple, having already won the EFL Cup, as they are into the last four of the FA Cup, the last eight of the Champions League and just a point behind Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

Ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg away at Benfica on Tuesday, Van Dijk told reporters he is calm about the upcoming period, and is pleased that Liverpool currently have a full squad to use across the three remaining competitions.

"If you would say at the start of the season that you will still be in all competitions by this time of the year, also having a full squad, which last season wasn't really the case, we would have taken it easily," he said.

"I'm just enjoying the moment. We all as footballers want to play games – it asks a lot physically from us, but I'm just going for it and enjoying every moment."

Van Dijk missed most of last season with a knee injury, but has been a near ever-present since his return for Jurgen Klopp's men, making 39 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign, with 24 clean sheets to his name. 

Liverpool have conceded just three goals in their last 13 games in all competitions, and the 30-year-old was asked if he feels the defensive side of their game sometimes goes unnoticed.

"I must say, before the [January] international break, I did care a little bit," he said. "I think I said it in [another] interview, I felt a bit taken for granted, coming back from a long-term injury, that everything was normal, everyone expected the same [level of performance], and it's quite difficult.

"But after the break, I really didn't. Maybe that helped also the performances, but at the moment we're just doing it together. Everyone is playing their part, everyone is involved, the back four plus Alisson changes at times as well. If you look at the [EFL] cup final, with Caoimhin [Kelleher] coming in, the hero in the cup competitions.

"Kostas [Tsimikas] coming in, Joe [Gomez] coming in now as well, everyone is getting involved in the success we have as a defensive unit, but the way we defend is we do it all together, and everyone feels responsibility for that as well."

Questions have been asked of Liverpool's high line in recent weeks, despite the impressive defensive record, and Van Dijk was keen to question why, believing people are forgetting to discount opportunities against them that would have been given offside had a goal been scored.

"It's now being highlighted, but I think if you look back at the last couple of seasons we always try to play with a high line," he said.

"This season, and last season I think, we started with the rule that [we] keep playing on, and then the linesman puts the flag up. It looks like we are conceding chances against us.

"Even the other day [against Watford] when Ali had to make the save, it looked like we are vulnerable when he is offside, so I think that rule first of all has to get out of the way, but the other thing is the high line, we don't speak about it a lot but on the pitch you definitely have to communicate and I'm always trying to do that."

No team has caught opposition players offside in the Premier League as often this season, with Opta stats showing the Reds have successfully caught players offside on 124 occasions, well ahead of City (76), Wolves (70), Leicester City (62) and Brentford (59).

The Netherlands captain also had words of encouragement for his national team boss Louis van Gaal, who revealed on Dutch TV on Sunday he is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

"I was in shock last night when I heard his interview, because obviously he is getting his film out next week so I was just wondering how he would promote it and speak about his life, and then obviously this was a big shock," he added.

"I messaged him after the interview, but it definitely says a lot about him [as a person]... He's not the type of guy that needs a lot of sympathy, that's how he is, but I told him we are definitely going to be there for him as a group whenever needed, and also we can also hopefully make it for him a World Cup to never forget."

Benfica may not be as big of a name as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United but Anfield hero Patrik Berger warned Liverpool of the "tough" challenge they face in the Champions League quarter-final.

Liverpool edged past Inter 2-1 on aggregate in their last-16 clash, while Benfica knocked out Ajax to set up the last-eight meeting between the two sides, with the first leg set for Estadio Da Luz on Tuesday.

Despite the Reds appearing strong favourites, Benfica will be no pushovers given they have won their last three home meetings with Liverpool.

However, Jurgen Klopp has assembled a formidable winning machine as his team aim for victory in five consecutive away games in the European Cup and Champions League for just the second time, having last done so between 1983 and 1984 under Joe Fagan.

Liverpool also remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple, the Reds in contention in Europe, the Premier League and FA Cup after lifting the EFL Cup earlier in the season, but Berger urged caution from his former club against Benfica.

"Benfica are a good side, in the last 16 of the Champions League all the teams are good," he told Stats Perform. "Maybe some of them don't have a name like Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United, but they are good team and they have good players.

"It's a tough opponent, they are playing well and it seems easy but it won't be easy they are a good side."

 

Former Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia also echoed Berger's sentiments as he called on the Reds to take each game as it comes.

"You can't underestimate any opposition," he told Stats Perform. "You have to go to every game with 100 per cent, and I think Klopp knows that as well so he will motivate the team to go 100 per cent in the next game."

Liverpool will look to continue their eight-game unbeaten run in the Champions League against Portuguese opposition, winning each of the last four, before hosting Benfica at Anfield in the return leg on April 13.

Jurgen Klopp has no concerns about Mohamed Salah's form as Liverpool prepare to face Benfica in a Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.

Salah has been outstanding for the Reds this season amid speculation over his future, scoring 28 goals in all competitions.

The Egypt forward, who has just under 15 months remaining on his contract, has only found the back of the net once in the past eight matches for club and country, however, and that was from the penalty spot against Brighton and Hove Albion.

You have to go back to February 19 for Salah's last goal from open play in a victory over a Norwich City side that are rock bottom of the Premier League.

Klopp is not worried about Salah's lack of goals of late and says the 29-year-old and Sadio Mane are bound to have felt the strain after being away on Africa Cup of Nations duty and returning to help Liverpool battle for an unprecedented quadruple.

And the German stressed that the former Roma and Chelsea man provides more than just goals.

Asked about Salah's form, the Reds boss said: "He might not have scored from open play or whatever, maybe a penalty here or there, that's not too important.

"The performance level is important for me, the threat he is for other teams. How he brings players together in moments when he gets the ball, maybe two or three players are going for him in these moments.

"Sometimes he could decide in a better way, no doubt about that, pass the ball quicker and all these things. But it's a tough period for Sadio and Mo, with the Africa Cup and coming back being immediately available for us again with all the games.

"That was really, really special and it's completely normal in a season that you have these little [gestures ups and downs]. There are not big changes, but it's still there and we see him every day in training, we see him playing obviously and there's nothing to worry about apart from that we have to manage the physical part as well.

"These players will not come to me and ask me for a break, so I have to give them the break in a specific moment. Hopefully we use that little break and we go again."

Liverpool are strong favourites ahead of the first leg at Estadio da Luz, but they have lost their past three away games against Benfica.

Klopp, who has a fully-fit squad to choose from, says there is no margin for error as his side go for glory in the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup after already lifting the EFL Cup.

"We all know one failure, one little misstep, and at least one competition can be gone," he said. "That's no problem for us, we're just ready for the next challenge."

Salah has scored eight goals for Liverpool in the Champions League this term, and could become the first player to score 10 or more times in multiple seasons for the club in the competition.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for Italian authorities to honour the legacy of Paolo Rossi by naming the Stadio Olimpico after the former forward.

Rossi scored six goals to claim the Golden Boot and Golden Ball as Italy lifted the 1982 World Cup, while he was awarded the Ballon d'Or in the same year – the only player to win all four trophies in the same year.

During that competition, Rossi guided his side into the knockout stages as his hat-trick propelled Italy to a 3-2 group-stage victory over a formidable Brazil team, which included legends Socrates and Zico.

Rossi still remains Italy's joint-top scorer at World Cups, with his nine goals only matched by fellow attackers Roberto Baggio and Christian Vieri.

The former Vicenza and Juventus striker died aged 64 in 2020, and Infantino implored the Italian Football Federation (IFF) to mark Rossi's legacy by naming Lazio and Roma's Olimpico stadium after him.

"What are we waiting for to name the Olimpico after Paolo Rossi? There isn't another Italian who has given more to this sport," he said on Monday at an event to remember former IFF president Artemio Franchi.

"So, please I'm saying this to all the directors here. Please, help us, I think Paolo deserves it."

Infantino also recalled a meeting with former referee Abraham Klein, who officiated the meeting between Italy and Brazil in 1982 and ruled out what would have been Italy's fourth goal through Giancarlo Antognoni.

"Among other things, he admitted that Antognoni's goal [that was disallowed for offside] was valid, so let's rectify the result, it ended 4-2," he added on Klein before discussing the legacy of Franchi.

"I am president of FIFA, who for the first time in its history has appointed a woman general secretary. These are the values ​​that football gives and that we managers must protect, as did Artemio Franchi.

"It means listening, but also making decisions and acting: without this, Italy probably would not have won the European Championships and would not have qualified for the World Cup, UEFA would not have taken the steps it took at a time when Europe was uniform.

"As leaders, we must always seek, with diplomacy and emotion to bring the sport back to play this very important role of giving emotions to people."

Bernardo Silva welcomes the pressure on Manchester City to continue their charge for a maiden Champions League title when they face Atletico Madrid in the quarter-final in what is "not just another game".

Pep Guardiola's Premier League side cruised through their last-16 clash with Sporting, winning 5-0 on aggregate, to tee up their first meeting with Atletico in European competition.

The Etihad Stadium will play host to the first leg on Tuesday before the return meeting in Spain on April 13 as City look to lift the Champions League for the first time in their history.

City have only lost one of their last nine games in the competition beyond the group stage (W7 D1), with that defeat coming in the final last season against Chelsea.

Silva openly acknowledged the pressure on his team to deliver European success, but he sees it as an opportunity as opposed to a reason for concern.

"It's not just another game, it's a very important game for us, it's a competition that maybe just Scott Carson has won," he told reporters at Monday's pre-match news conference.

"Pep as well but the club has never won it. Most of us have never won it. We really want to do it. Over the years we weren't able to do it, it is the only one missing and we want to go for it again.

"The pressure is always there and we know these fans always expect us to perform well in this competition and we're going to try our best to make our fans happy and proud of us."

Pressed on the frustrations of Europe's premier club competition evading City so far, Silva added: "We know how important this competition is. It's where the best clubs in Europe play.

"It's definitely a goal. It's a thing that we really want to achieve but if we are going to achieve it - nobody knows. The only thing we can promise to our fans and the club is that we're going to do our best and try as hard as we can to achieve that.

When asked about the pressure to win the tournament when seemingly appearing the favourites, Silva responded: "I don't think it is anxiety but pressure. Pressure to win is nice because it means you're in a great club fighting for everything.

"It is pressure that we want because we want to win those competitions. Atletico are a great side also, I'm sure they have that same thing. There is lots of pressure from the fans to continue to win.

"They are the champions of Spain and they also have to do well in the Champions League. There is lots of pressure on both sides but we are players used to this and we will manage it really well."

Guardiola and Simeone have faced off four times before in their managerial career, with the latter eliminating the Spaniard's Bayern Munich on away goals in the 2015-16 Champions League semi-final.

Atletico averaged just 27 per cent possession across the two legs and scored twice from 18 shots, while Bayern netted the same number of goals from 53 attempts, and Silva believes Simeone's visitors will pose a unique challenge.

"Honestly, no. Maybe the style of play might be similar to some teams in the Premier League," he said of how Atletico compared to English teams.

"It's a team with some of the best players in the world. It's not comparable. Club teams in England, most or all, don't play like Atletico, which makes the game different. Very competitive, organised, with a specific style of play. It wasn't easy for [Manchester] United, Liverpool two years ago. It won't be easy for us but if we follow Pep's plan it will work out.

"The team I see today is better prepared than even last season. It comes from disappointment. We know each other better. It’s been five or six years we’ve been with Pep. We keep learning from our mistakes."

City's focus will quickly turn to a home clash with Liverpool on Sunday that is being labelled as a title decider, with Jurgen Klopp's side just a point behind Guardiola's leaders with eight games to play.

However, Silva suggested the crucial double-header within five days of each other is a compliment to the quality of his team.

"The players are used to it," he continued. "It’s a good sign and it means we are there to fight for titles. It's good to be able to fight for all of them. We enjoy it, playing against the best teams for the best competitions."

Bangladesh are to lodge a complaint with the ICC over the standard of umpiring and alleged "deplorable" sledging from South Africa during a 222-run thrashing in the first Test at Kingsmead.

The Proteas wasted no time in wrapping up a crushing victory on the final day in Durban, Keshav Maharaj taking 7-32 and Simon Harmer 3-21 to bowl the sorry tourists out for only 53.

Bangladesh were dismissed in only 19 overs as the South Africa spinners tore through their batting line-up.

The Tigers were not happy with the standard of umpiring from South African duo Adrian Holdstock and Marais Erasmus.

Bangladesh Cricket Board cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus told ESPNcricinfo: "We have already lodged one complaint about the umpiring after the ODI series.

"The match referee had initially misbehaved with our manager Nafees Iqbal but then softened when we gave him a written complaint. We will lodge another official complaint about this Test match."

He added: "There hasn't been impartial umpiring in this Test match. It started on the first day. We were held up for half an hour at the start of the game because of the sightscreens. We were deprived of the initial advantage.

"To make up this half an hour, they extended the lunch session, instead of starting early, which we usually see. It is definitely at the umpire's discretion, but generally we see them making up for lost time by starting early. These are subtle technical things."

Yunus also felt Dean Elgar's side crossed the line dishing out the verbals.

He said: "They surrounded [Mahmudul Hasan] Joy when he went out to bat. They were saying something. He couldn't say anything back since he is a junior player.

"It was deplorable. Instead of controlling the situation, the umpires warned our players whenever we made complaints against the sledging. Sledging definitely took place from both sides, but when they started it and took it overboard, we complained to the umpires. It wasn't acceptable. We properly condemn it. We have to accept the umpires' decisions, but the ICC must reinstate neutral umpires."

Tigers captain Mominul Haque called for the return of neutral umpires.

He said: "Sledging is quite normal, but the umpires didn't seem to notice it. The umpiring in the match is not in our control, but I think the ICC should think about bringing back neutral umpires."

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