Diego Simeone says Manchester City are the best team in the world and suggested Pep Guardiola caught him off guard with the tactic that ultimately cost Atletico Madrid the game.
City had all of the possession against the Spanish champions, but struggled to create a clear opening until Phil Foden came off the bench and immediately fed Kevin De Bruyne to give them a 1-0 advantage going into the second leg. Atletico failed to have a shot the whole game, and will have to be far more adventurous next week in Madrid to progress.
Simeone opted to praise City after the game, pointing to Foden’s introduction along with Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus as the change that tipped the balance away from Atletico.
“Just when we looked like creating our best opportunities, they scored. That was a very difficult match. They take off three excellent players and replace them with three equally- excellent guys.
“I must admit we thought Foden would start. I’d also confess that it’s enjoyable to see how City play. The patience they have. But we were both seeking the same thing, winning.”
Looking ahead to next week’s clash at the Wanda Metropolitano, Simeone continued his praise for City but promised more adventurous tactics from his side.
“They might be the best side in the world,” he said.
“We’ll change how we play a little in the second half of this tie but it’s all the same to them – City will play the same way. But with humility, and hard work, we’ll compete. Then we’ll just see where that takes us.”