On Tuesday night, Atletico Madrid barely offered any gaps for Manchester City to exploit, as Pep Guardiola’s side only managed to break past the tough Atleti defence on one occasion, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring the game’s only goal.
The Sky Blues didn’t produce much in the first half, unable to breach Atletico’s low block, but they won 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash with Los Rojiblancos.
“We thought they’d play a 5-3-2 [formation], but they altered and it became a 5-5,” Guardiola said afterwards.
“It is exceedingly tough to attack against a 5-5 in prehistoric times, now, and in a hundred thousand years, since there are no spaces.” They are powerful. We’re slender and light. It’s only a matter of waiting.
“At halftime, I informed [my guys] that we were fine.” The match was broken in the second half. And I have a feeling it will be a match similar to the one we’ll play in Madrid in the minutes following the goal.”
After the first leg at the Etihad Stadium, Koke listened to Guardiola’s analysis and used social media to convey a message to the Catalan coach and Los Rojiblancos fans.
“Since prehistoric times, I’ve been enamored with your story,” the Atletico Madrid captain wrote.
“I’m proud to be a supporter of Atletico Madrid.”
When asked about his defensive strategy in Manchester, Diego Simeone said that teams that know how to defend should be praised just as much as teams that know how to attack.
“If a collective offensive system is appreciated, a strong and unapologetic defense system must be cherished as well,” he said.