“Built on petrodollars” – Journalist hits back at Simeone criticism following Man City defeat

Diego Simeone does not have to apologise for the way his side played against a Manchester City team ‘built on petrodollars’.

That’s according to journalist Nacho Palencia, who has hit out at criticism following the Spanish side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City last night.

Kevin de Bruyne’s goal secured a 1-0 win at the Etihad in the first leg of the quarter-final meeting between the two sides at the Etihad, following something of a defensive masterclass from Simeone’s side.

They very much parked the bus from minute one in the game, sitting deep, closing spaces and inviting Manchester City to try and find a way through.

That was something they were only able to do once, despite enjoying 71% of the possession and Atlético not managing a single shot in the entire game.

The manner in which the La Liga champions approached the game was heavily criticised in the post-match reaction, but Palencia is having none of that, sending a thinly veiled criticism those doing so.

“If anyone has the formula to play happily, go forward and win a match against a Manchester City built on petrodollars, which averages three goals scored in its stadium and yesterday barely shot twice on goal, send it to me, and I will try to get it to Diego Pablo Simeone,” he told Marca.

Whether anyone has that answer, or indeed if Simeone does in the second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano, remains to be seen.

On the one hand, Palencia does have a point given how expensively Manchester City’s squad has been assembled.

Presenting Atlético as some sort of poor man falls short, though, considering this is a team that included Joao Felix, signed for £114.48m, Thomas Lemar (£64.8m) and Rodrigo de Paul (£31.5m) to name just three.

Indeed, this is an expensively assembled squad and fans and pundits are right to expect more from them, particularly in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

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