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Atletico Madrid president slams Guardiola tactics: Man City played defensive, prehistoric football

7:28 PM GMT+4 14/04/2022
Pep Guardiola Manchester City Atletico Madrid 2021-22
After seeing a Catalan coach level similar accusations at them, La Liga giants have been quick to turn the tables on highly decorated tactician

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has bitten back at Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola in the wake of his criticism of Diego Simeone’s tactics by accusing the Catalan coach of playing prehistoric football of his own.

A feisty Champions League quarter-final encounter between Premier League and La Liga heavyweights saw emotions run high on and off the field, with tempers boiling over at the end of a second leg in Spain as a mass brawl broke out.

City had ground out a 0-0 draw in that contest, to prevail 1-0 on aggregate, with Cerezo claiming that Guardiola favoured a similar approach at Wanda Metropolitano to the one he took issue with when Atletico sat deep at the Etihad Stadium.

Did Man City play ‘prehistory’ football of their own?

After seeing Guardiola suggest that the Rojiblancos played “prehistory” football in Manchester, while Kevin De Bruyne said that Simeone had lined up with a 5-5-0 formation, Cerezo told Radio Marca of seeing City favour a defence-first approach in Spain: “We are a team that has a lot of status so someone can offend us, but in the end it has been shown that everyone has their prehistory.

“We played a good game, attacking, and City yesterday played prehistory, defending and put a wall in front of their goal so we wouldn't score.

“Everybody has seen it. City was a completely defensive team. In the second half they shot on goal once. Yesterday it was shown that each one has their prehistory.

“It was a match that, with a bit of luck, would have taken us to the semi-finals. We were not lucky enough to score a goal and reach extra-time.”

Who else has taken issue with City?

Simeone also appeared to aim a dig at Guardiola after seeing his Atletico side bow out of European competition.

The Argentine tactician said of coming in for criticism from fellow coaches: “I don't have to give an opinion, whether someone speaks well of us or not.

“A lot of the time, those people who have a large vocabulary, who are very intelligent, they show contempt in their praise.

“But although we might not have such large vocabularies we are not that stupid.”

While Atletico’s continental campaign for 2021-22 is over, it remains to be seen whether UEFA will take any action over the melee which was sparked towards the end of normal time and carried over into the tunnel as both sides headed for the dressing rooms.

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