Diego Simeone appears to have taken a swipe at Pep Guardiola in the wake of Atletico Madrid‘s unsightly Champions League elimination by Manchester City, insisting that people who ‘talk really well’ can ‘praise you with contempt’.
Atletico crashed out of the quarter-finals last night after losing 1-0 on aggregate following their goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano, but the showdown was overshadowed by a large fracas breaking out between both teams.
The tensions even continued into the tunnel at full-time, with the extraordinary moment several heated players exchanged insults caught on camera.
© Provided by Daily Mail Diego Simeone swiped out at Pep Guardiola after Atletico Madrid’s Champions League exit© Provided by Daily Mail Guardiola (right) guided Manchester City through to the semi-finals after the goalless draw
On the pitch, the hosts once again looked to assert themselves physically on their opponents but, despite creating several chances in the second half, were unable to find the crucial goal that would have forced extra time.
Regardless of the controversial style of Simeone’s side, Guardiola has refused to criticize them – and instead praised them for frustrating his own team’s style of play.
However, Simeone was questioned post-match whether he believes his opposite number had disrespected him as a coach, as well as his Atletico players.
© Provided by Daily Mail Tensions flared at the end of the game with both sets of players clashing in a heated fracas
‘I don’t have to have that sort of opinion. I don’t think he will talk badly or talk well,’ he told reporters in his press conference.
‘Often, people who talk really well, and are really clever, manage to praise you with contempt.
‘But those of us who perhaps have a smaller vocabulary is not so stupid either.’
He then went on to add: ‘I am clear that we are proud of who we are, of how we compete. And I love seeing those who win celebrating it because it shows once again that the important thing is to win.’
© Provided by Daily Mail But despite Atletico’s physicality, boss Guardiola refused to condemn his side’s opponents
Guardiola shared his relief that City survived their nervy encounter in the second leg, having failed to add to the 1-0 lead they took from the Etihad.
Atletico pushed hard in their attempt to take the semi-final the distance, with boss Guardiola admitting ‘they put us with our back against the wall.’
Lavishing praise on the combative LaLiga outfit, he said: ‘It was like we have forgotten how to play, but it was all their merit. Today we are celebrating getting through, but by the second part we had, we easily could be eliminated.’
The hectic fixture calendar was singled out by Guardiola as a potential reason behind his team’s lack of intensity in the second period.
© Provided by Daily Mail There was mayhem in the tunnel at full-time, with several players having to be separated© Provided by Daily Mail Stefan Savic (right of centre) and Jack Grealish (left) even had to be forcefully separated
‘We came from a difficult game on the weekend with no time to prepare for this one,’ he added.
‘I have a lot of respect for Atletico. They have a lot of merit in what they do.
‘They can play how they want, I have never criticized Atletico’s game and what Diego Simeone does he knows how to do like nobody else in the world.’