"How would you feel if your team played home and away like that?" Ex-pros discuss Atlético Madrid's playing style

Friday, March 13th, 2020 11:53am

By Josh O'Brien @JoshJohnOBrien1

Former West Ham midfielder Martin Allen and ex-Watford shot stopper Rich Lee have leaped to the defence of Atlético Madrid's brand of football after Jürgen Klopp bemoaned their playing style.

Still reeling from the home defeat to Atlético Madrid that saw them crash out of the Champions League on Tuesday, Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp was quick to discredit Diego Simeone's football philosophy. 

Designed to stifle and slowly suffocate their opponents, Atlético Madrid's notoriously defensive brand of football has earned them plenty of praise and criticism in equal measure. 

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It was there for all to see at Anfield on Tuesday night. Going into the game with a 1-0 advantage from the first-leg at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atlético Madrid were never going to take the game to their hosts.

Absorbing as much pressure as they possibly could, defending 62 Liverpool crosses, Atléti did finally succumb and found themselves 2-0 down after an extra-time strike from Roberto Firmino. However an Adrián-error in the Liverpool goal sparked a dramatic comeback, the result on the night finishing 3-2 to the Spanish outfit. 

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The smash-and-grab nature of the win led Klopp to take a swipe at Atlético Madrid, telling the media in his post-match presser: “They way they play, I don’t get it. I don’t understand how they get some of the best players in the world playing like that." 

However, on Love Sport Breakfast, ex-Premier League players Martin Allen and Rich Lee dissected the 'style vs results' debate.

Allen claimed: "Everyone's slagged off Mourinho and the way he plays, what would it be like if your team played like Simeone's team? With 11 behind the ball, hard to beat, not a great deal of flair. They've got some flair plays- Felix was over 107 million I think they paid for him. How would you feel if your team played home and away like that?" 

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Former Watford 'keeper Rich Lee countered with: "I think a lot of it then comes down to results. Like I always found that if you're playing a team that weren't playing a particularly attractive style of football. You didn't care if you're getting the results.

 "I think if you're winning, it's great. The second you're not I think that's when players stop enjoying it. And that's when fans turn against teams."

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