Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is cautious of Atletico Madrid's quality ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg tomorrow.
Atletico had a very poor start this season but as of late, they've been on fire. They're unbeaten in their last eight matches, seven of them wins including a victory at Old Trafford against Manchester United to progress to the quarter-finals.
Ahead of their first leg against Atletico, Pep Guardiola spoke at his press conference about the quality of this Atleti side.
They are Champions of the Spanish league
Spain, in the last decade, have had more teams reach the final and win the Champions League. They are the champions. I admire their consistency. Twice they win La Liga when normally Barcelona and Real Madrid control it.
They have been to two Champions League finals which means they know how to handle knock-out stages.
Many have build this as the 'tie of the round' and have said that these two sides have polar opposite styles of play, Manchester City with their possession-based, attacking style and Atletico's dogged, discipline and negative style. The idea around Atletico's style of play is something Pep called "stupid" and he believes they play a more positive style of football.
There is a misconception about the way he plays,
It’s more offensive than people believe. He doesn't want to take a risk in the build-up but they are very good in the final third. They are so competitive. It depends on the movement of the game and they know how to play at the exact moment.
The moment of the game, winning, losing, last minute, early minutes, beginning of the start of second half - in these situations, they are very good.
They want to avoid risk in neutral areas. They are aggressive and when they win the ball, they play.
Maybe I am wrong but what I have seen, they don't close up from the back. Maybe at times, but not at the beginning. They come for you. They don't close up. If they can, they will press.
"I'm not going to talk one second about these stupid debates!"
Pep Guardiola has rubbished talks about the style of football Diego Simeone's Atlético Madrid play 👇 pic.twitter.com/oGUwmvAwX6
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 4, 2022
We're definitely in for some drama in this tie and with Liverpool to face on the weekend, could Atletico help alter the Premier League title race?