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Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone would be ‘SLAUGHTERED’ for his defensive style in the Premier League, claims Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has hailed Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone as a ‘defensive genius’, but believes the Argentine coach would be ‘slaughtered’ for his style if he managed in the Premier League.

Atleti gave other teams a lesson in how to defend against Liverpool on Tuesday as they sealed a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.

The hosts took an early lead after just four minutes in Madrid and then shut out the defending European champions, in a defensive masterclass typical of Simeone’s stubborn side.

Liverpool were far from their best as they suffered only their third defeat in all competitions this season
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The Spanish team did face criticism over the manner of the victory and were accused of employing ‘dark arts’ tactics against Jurgen Klopp’s side, as they pulled shirts, play acted and generally tried to wind up the Liverpool players in a game which was difficult to watch.

But rival supporters also marvelled as their gutsy defensive showing, as for the first time this season Liverpool failed to register a single shot on target over the 90 minutes.

Allardyce, though, believes it would be a different story if Simeone ever came to English football as setting up teams defensively is ‘frowned upon’ in the Premier League.

Appearing to hit back at his own critics, the former England, West Ham and Everton manager told talkSPORT: “You’re not supposed to do that, defend, are you? Not allowed! He’d get slaughtered.

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone was as animated as ever on the touchline against Liverpool
Getty Images – Getty

“The way our game is manipulated now, is that if you don’t playing out from the back you’re not playing the right way, and if you’re not playing the right way in this country you get criticised for it.

“Simeone is a fabulous defensive-minded coach and has been for the whole of his career at Atletico Madrid.

“And, while it’s not that entertaining, the amount of results he achieves with his tactical genius defensively would be frowned upon in this country.

“Defending is an art.

“Defending is equally important as what you do with the ball in possession, otherwise you don’t have enough possession and you don’t win football matches, and if you don’t win football matches you ultimately don’t stay in a job.”

Watch a clip of Sam Allardyce on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast above




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