Let’s protect the players – Mikel Arteta criticises scheduling as Arsenal go top

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta stood in unison with Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola in condemning the fixture schedule. Guardiola said it was “unacceptable” that his side had to play an FA Cup semi-final less than 72 hours after being in action in the Champions League on Wednesday night as they beat Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday tea-time. The Gunners’ plight was arguably worse as they were also in Europe on Wednesday night but had to travel back from Germany on Thursday following their Champions League exit to Bayern Munich.