Simeone hopes to cause Manchester United 'vertigo' in Champions League clash

By Sports Desk March 14, 2022

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone hopes to cause Manchester United "vertigo" when his team travel to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano three weeks ago ended 1-1 after a late equaliser from substitute Anthony Elanga cancelled out Joao Felix's first-half header.

Atletico have lost their last two away trips to face English sides in the Champions League, losing at Chelsea in 2020-21 and Liverpool this season without scoring a goal in either.

They have also not kept a clean sheet in any of their eight away games against English teams in the competition, conceding 14 goals overall, but Simeone believes United could struggle as the home team. 

"We will press high," he told reporters at Monday's pre-match news conference. “It will be the classic type of match you expect in a game like this – the vertigo you sometimes suffer when you play at home.

"I think we have the opportunity to hit on the counter to capitalise on any errors they make. We are really up for the game and will do the best we can."

Atletico eliminated Liverpool in the 2019-20 Champions League at the round of 16 stage, winning the second leg 3-2 at Anfield after extra-time, but Simeone insists the game at Old Trafford is separate and the previous success England will have no bearing on the outcome.

"They are different games, we know the importance of the rival we are going to face tomorrow and the danger they have, but we are confident," he added.

 

Marcos Llorente, who scored twice in the win at Liverpool in 2019, said he and his team-mates are confident ahead of the game, but stressed they must be careful with Cristiano Ronaldo around.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in United's 3-2 win against Tottenham on Saturday, and has netted 13 goals in his last 15 home games against Atletico across all competitions, including two hat-tricks in his most recent four (for Real Madrid in May 2017 and Juventus in March 2019, both in the Champions League).

"When you have players like that, you always need to be on your guard," Llorente said. "They have some other great players that play at a really high level and have to be aware of all of them."

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