Brazil legend criticises Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone after Man City defeat
Brazil legend Rivaldo has called for Diego Simeone to change his approach with Atletico Madrid following their Champions League defeat to Manchester City.
City progressed to the semi-finals after beating the Spanish champions 1-0 on aggregate in their two-legged last eight clash. Kevin De Bruyne’s goal in the first leg at the Etihad proved enough to send Pep Guardiola’s side through as they held on to their lead with a goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atletico have since come in for criticism for their approach in both legs of the tie. Fans and pundits slammed Simeone and his side for their pragmatic approach at the Etihad as they looked to prevent City from taking a lead.
Although they played more positively in the return leg, the Spanish side again received flak after the tie descended into chaos late on. Stefan Savic sparked a mass brawl after trying to drag an injured Phil Foden off the pitch, while fellow defender Felipe was sent off.
Ugly scenes continued into the tunnel as Atletico players clashed with their visitors again after the full-time whistle. And while Rivaldo defended the La Liga champions for their actions in the second leg, he was far from impressed by their performance in the first.
“The press is criticizing the attitude of the Atletico Madrid team at the end of the match against Manchester City, but I didn’t see this as a surprise because a team of Simeone is always a fighter and seeks these conflicts to put the game more in their own way,” Rivaldo told Betfair.
“Still, it was interesting to see the roles reversed in the return game with Atletico Madrid looking for the goal and City wasting time and defending their advantage at the end of the game in Spain.
“In football, anything is possible, and seeing a Guardiola team wasting time against a Simeone team, trying to attack, is a good demonstration of it. But Manchester City are the fair winner of the tie, especially after that first game in England where Atletico only defended, that was very ugly and even disappointing.
“I think Simeone needs to trust more in the talent of his players at times and not just stay in that 0-0 or 1-0 with the games very even.”
City will now take on Real Madrid in the semi-finals as they look to secure a first Champions League crown. The Blues, alongside Liverpool, are the favourites to make it through to the final, although Rivaldo warned against them taking Real too lightly.
“I see the English teams better prepared to take the trophy along with Real Madrid, who are always a team capable of fighting for the title, Ancelotti’s side are the greatest champions in the history of the Champions League.”