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Simeone shrugs off Klopp criticism ahead of Champions League tie

Majadahonda, Spain, Oct 18 (EFE).- Diego Simeone offered a one word answer in English when asked Monday what he thought about Juergen Klopp’s criticism of his defensive style of play — “nothing.”

Atletico Madrid’s long-serving head coach later went on to compliment Liverpool ahead of the Uefa Champions League clash of the titans on Tuesday.

“Above anything, right now, Chelsea, (Manchester) City and Liverpool are going through a period of top performance. Watching any of these three, with their different rhythms, the different characteristics of the three, is a pleasure,” he told a press conference.

Klopp also addressed the issue when asked at the Liverpool press conference, saying that he made the comments when he was disappointed after dropping out of the competition.

“Diego Simeone is doing absolutely everything right, he’s the current Spanish champion, he’s at Atletico for a long, long time, he’s very successful there,” he said.

“I couldn’t respect more what they do. Do I like it? Not too much. But that’s normal because I prefer a different kind of football,” the German coach, whose Liverpool team is renowned for its fast, high-pressing game, added.

Tomorrow’s duel at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium will decide who goes top of Group B, a position currently held by the Reds.

Liverpool’s last visit to the Wanda, just before the Covid-19 pandemic sank its teeth into Europe, ended in a 1-0 defeat for the Premier League side that paved the way for their elimination from Champions League round-of-16 with Atletico picking up a win at Anfield.

It came a year after Liverpool lifted the 2018/19 Champions League trophy at the stadium.

Liverpool head to the Spanish capital this time round in fine form, second place in the Premier League and off the back of a thumping 0-5 away win against Watford.

“It’s clear that we’ll have to match their intensity,” Simeone said, leaving special mention for Liverpool’s man of the moment, Mohamed Salah, who he described as an “extraordinary footballer who does amazing things year after year.”

Atletico have former Liverpool star Luis Suarez in their arsenal, who returned to training on Sunday following the international break. EFE

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