Diego Simeone has revealed to Spanish press the key flaw in Manchester United’s system that he exploited successful in his side’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Heading into the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie as slight underdogs courtesy of a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atleti were largely the better side throughout, as Ralf Rangnick’s side started strongly but quickly faded.
It was an error-strewn performance by United, with David De Gea and Harry Maguire particularly guilty of putting their side in poor situations, and Renan Lodi’s first half goal was enough to separate the sides on the night, and send Atletico through to the quarter-finals, where the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Benfica, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Man Utd 1-2 v Sevilla (2018)
Man Utd 0-2 PSG (2019)
Man Utd 0-1 Barcelona (2019)
Man Utd 0-1 Atletico (2022)
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 15, 2022
‘They are messy’
Speaking to Spanish press after the game, Simeone revealed that playing through the Manchester United press was the plan all along, and that he knew that his side could do it because the Red Devils cannot do so effectively.
‘Man United press high but they are a little messy’, he told AS. ‘We knew that we would find space to play out’
However, he did reserve plenty of praise for United boss Ralf Rangnick, revealing that ‘Manchester United compete well since their coach arrived and they have improved a lot’.
Judging by the boos that rang around Old Trafford at half time, few of a Red Devil persuasion would agree.