Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has fired Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp back after the Reds boss said he was left unimpressed by the Los Rojiblancos’ style on Wednesday night after his side was eliminated from the UEFA Champions League.
Simeone’s men defeated Liverpool 3-2 in the Champions League round of 16 second-leg at Anfield to qualify for the quarter-finals on 4-2 aggregate, thanks to Marcos Llorente’s brace and Alvaro Morata’s strike as two goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino was not enough to save the host.
Klopp said: “I don’t understand with the quality they have that they play this kind of football. I don’t understand that.
“When I see players like Llorente, Koke, and Saul, they could play proper football, but they stayed deep in their half and have counter-attacks.”
Reacting to the development, Simeone defended his side’s game plan.
“I respect Klopp’s identity and the quality footballers he has in Liverpool,” Simeone told a post-match press conference.
“But we try to exploit deficiencies in the opponent and try to win, that is what we do.
“What I have to say, and will be speaking at the next UEFA coaches’ meeting, is what I think is unfair.
“Today was unjust because we had 30 minutes of extra time to score three away goals. Liverpool never had that.
“We had 30 more minutes to score an away goal, and Liverpool didn’t. That’s not fair.
“The rule favoured us today, but it might go against us in the future. Liverpool had 30 minutes fewer to score an away goal. That is wrong.”