Madrid (AFP) – Diego Simeone has called for critics of Atletico Madrid’s style of play to show more respect ahead of the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City on Wednesday.
Atletico were widely lambasted for their ultra-defensive performance at the Etihad Stadium last week, when Simeone’s team failed to muster a single shot as City claimed a deserved 1-0 victory.
“Since I started coaching in 2005, if I’m not mistaken I have never criticised a colleague of mine. Never,” Simeone said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“I believe there are different ways of playing to get what you want from each match but when somebody criticises a colleague, I don’t get involved.
“As my father used to say, ‘the mouth kills the fish’. There are several ways to play, I choose one, but you have to respect your colleagues. Always, always, always.”
City’s dominance in the first leg failed to translate into a convincing lead, with only Kevin de Bruyne’s late strike preventing Atletico from returning to Madrid with a clean sheet.
Atletico will be hoping to upset the odds in front of their own fans at the Wanda Metropolitano and reach their first Champions League semi since 2017.
“What we were able to get from the first leg with that result is hope,” Simeone said.
“We’re not going to stray too far from we do best. Hopefully we can combine better, have quicker transitions, counter-attacks, and our key players can have fantastic nights. From there it will be about moments. Anything can happen.”
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