Diego Simeone reveals how Atletico Madrid will approach Champions League second leg against Man City

The Argentine also responded to Pep Guardiola’s criticism ahead of the clash with Manchester City.

Diego Simeone has said his side’s approach to Wednesday’s second leg against Manchester City will not be ‘too far’ from the one exhibited in last week’s meeting at the Etihad.

Atletico Madrid have established a reputation for making Champions League knockout games tight, nervous affairs, often punctuated by some of football’s darker arts.

That was certainly the approach when the Spanish champions played City in last Tuesday’s first leg, which City emerged from with a 1-0 lead thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s goal.

Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal of the game when the sides met last week. Credit: Getty.

Therefore, there is an onus on Atletico to take more risks in front of their own fans in the reverse fixture, and while Simeone admitted his side might need to break quicker when in possession, he claimed the team will set up in a similar style.

“Of course, we’re not going to go too far from what we normally do,” the Argentinian said in his pre-match press conference. “We will go for the perfect timing to try to create what we can do. We can have faster transitions and counter attacks that we have and be clinical in front of goal.

“And hope our players have a fantastic night and use our motivation and the momentum of the game. Anything can happen on a football pitch.

Diego Simeone was keen to highlight he would never criticise another manager, following Pep Guardiola’s quotes last week. Credit: Getty.

“We are playing a team that plays excellent football; great in possession, fast transitions, they make the most of every little space they find,” he continued. “But we have excitement and eagerness and what we can generate in the match, with our result, is excitement.

“Obviously, only excitement alone won’t do. We need to prove something else on the pitch. We need to make the most out of our style and we need to play and there’s no more words about it, prove it on the pitch.”

Simeone responds to critics

The Atletico manager also seemed to have a subtle pop at Pep Guardiola in Tuesday’s press conference.

Guardiola said Atletico played with a 5-5-0 shape at the Etihad. Credit: Getty.

The City boss claimed his counterpart’s tactics were akin to ‘prehistory’ in the first leg, and said Atletico played with a 5-5-0 shape.

While Simeone didn’t directly respond to Guardiola’s comments, his pre-match answers certainly seemed motivated by the accusations from last week.

“I always say the same thing. I’ve been here since 2005-06 and I’ve never talked down to a colleague of mine, or talked badly,” said Simeone. “I always try to get in the other coaches’ shoes and there’s different ways of expressing what you think and what you believe in every game.

“When you don’t show appreciation I don’t really share it but there are opinions of every journalist, ex-player and people who haven’t played the game for a while and they want to say a different thing.

“Like my dad said: ‘The fish dies through the mouth’. It’s a saying. Talk is free and everybody can talk but I don’t talk badly of colleagues and we all have our opinions.

“I always respect my fellow coaches. We can all have an opinion, but among colleagues we all have ways. I always respect my colleagues, always always.”