Diego Simeone refuses to criticise Chelsea’s negative tactics

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone refuses to criticise Chelsea's negative tactics over the past week

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone Photo: The Sport Review

Diego Simeone has refused to criticise Chelsea’s negative approach in recent games ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Champions League semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues adopted a defensive game-plan to secure a goalless draw at the Vicente Calderon last week before securing a 2-0 victory at Premier League leaders Liverpool thanks to a brace of counter-attacking goals.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers criticised Jose Mourinho for parking “two buses” at Anfield on Sunday, whilst Chelsea infuriated the Atletico fans with their time-wasting tactics in the Spanish capital last Tuesday.

There is not one way of playing football. If we all played the same way it would be very boring

Diego Simeone

But Simeone refused to criticise Mourinho’s recent tactics, adding that football would be boring if every team adopted the same strategy.

“I’m a football man. I respect different ways of setting up your team in a football match,” Simeone told his pre-match media conference.

“It depends what you believe is a convenient way to set up your team and who you are playing.

“To defend well is not easy so you have to congratulate a team that defends well. To attack isn’t easy, so you have to congratulate a team that goes on the attack.

“Football has a changing nature and no one has the truth of what is the best way of playing.

“It also depends on the manager, who spends a lot of time with his players talking about different tactics, set-ups and trying to resolve different problems that arise.

“It is important that the team and institution as a whole wins. There is not one way of playing football. If we all played the same way it would be very boring.

“You can play 10 at the back or 10 up front, what matters is the result.”

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid: Pre-match facts

• Thibaut Courtois joined Chelsea from KRC Genk in 2011. He has made over 100 Liga appearances for Atletico and played in the 2012 Uefa uper Cup win against the Blues.

• Born in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada, Fernando Torres became Atletico’s youngest captain at 19 and scored 84 goals in 214 Liga appearances for the Rojiblancos before joining Liverpool in 2007.

• Tiago scored four goals in 34 Premier League games for Chelsea between 2004 and 2006.

• Mourinho’s record against Atletico with Real Madrid was W8 D0 L1. The sole defeat came in last season’s Copa del Rey final at the Santiago Bernabeu, Simeone’s side winning 2-1 after extra time.

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