‘Toxic’ Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone accused of endangering opponents after ‘disgraceful’ Man City clash April 14, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer
Atletico Madrid have been accused of endangering opponents with ‘disgraceful’ tactics after their Champions League exit to Man City descended into utter chaos.
Diego Simeone and his men were condemned across talkSPORT after a mass brawl in the dying moments of a goalless draw with the Premier League champions – which sent the Spanish club crashing out with a 1-0 aggregate defeat.
But ex-Chelsea star Jason Cundy loved every second of the clash, insisting there was nothing wrong with Atletico’s ‘horrible’ style and it only heightened the drama.
Football quickly made way for something else as Simeone’s side tried to rattle City with their physicality at the Wanda Metropolitano, relying on cynicism rather than quality for much of the game.
An ill-tempered affair eventually boiled over with an 18-man scrap in the closing stages of the game, as Felipe kicked out at Phil Foden and Stefan Savic attempted to drag the England man from the pitch.
Jack Grealish had his hair pulled by Savic, who also headbutted Raheem Sterling, and Felipe was shown a second yellow card, sparking a furious reaction from Simeone on the touchline, before sparks flew during ten minutes of stoppage time.
The angry scenes continued after the full-time whistle, as Savic and Grealish clashed in the tunnel, while Sime Vrsaljko looked intent on fighting the entire City squad.
Reacting to the match on talkSPORT, host Adrian Durham said: “What an absolutely appalling game of football. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything ever quite like it.
“Simeone used to have something special, but he’s now a parody figure who needs to take a long, hard look at himself in the mirror.
“His teams actually endanger opponents. Simeone has forgotten about football. Someone needs to introduce him to the beautiful game.
“Absolutely disgraceful scenes towards the end of the game because he couldn’t take losing.
“At times, I felt it was bordering on physical assault. This has gone over the top.
“Simeone’s time-wasting dark arts, that’s one thing. But his Atletico Madrid side, deliberately trying to physically injure opponents, is wholly wrong.
“Surely something’s got to be done about this?”
Ex-Republic of Ireland Cascarino: “It’s tribal, it’s toxic. It feels like it’s them and us, they’re against everybody.”
Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara agreed with his colleagues and suggested that Atletico’s hot heads meant they spurned chances to level the tie.
Despite being reduced to ten men, the hosts had a number of glorious opportunities to win the game in additional time.
O’Hara said: “It was a disgrace. Simeone should be ashamed of himself.
“This shows why he’s not at a big club like Liverpool or Real Madrid.
“They wasted ten minutes trying to kick Man City, acting like school children, he’s clapping the fans.
“They were so erratic and gung-ho that they blew their chances.”
But his fellow Sports Bar host Cundy was not in agreement with any of the above.
For him, Atletico’s nastiness was exactly what made it a Champions League classic.
Cundy said: “Adrian, I’m sorry, I cannot get in line with you on this one.
“What Atleti did was black belt in dark arts. Is there another colour belt? They’ve got two black belts.
“I don’t have a problem whatsoever with what Atletico did. It wasn’t a disgrace.
“It’s not the worst thing you’ve ever seen. Adrian was talking as if somebody had been murdered! There’s no murder going on out there.
“It was dark arts to the absolute maximum. It was unscripted drama and they nearly scored with ten men.
“Give me that kind of football, the 50-man brawl, I loved it! That was drama and you couldn’t take your eyes off it.
“This is who Simeone is! This is what his teams are like. He’s created an absolute demon.
“You don’t want to play against them, they were horrible, but I loved it.”
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