Michael Owen has said that Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone should not be praised for his defensive set-up across the two legs of his side’s Champions League victory over Liverpool.
Having taken a one-goal lead through Saul Niguez early on in the first leg in Spain, Atletico defended resolutely to keep hold of their slender advantage.
In Wednesday’s second leg, Liverpool were on top for the first 90 minutes, with the game going to extra time after Georginio Wijnaldum’s first-half header.
It looked as if the Reds were going to progress after Roberto Firmino made it 2-1 on aggregate early on in extra time, but three quickfire goals from Atletico put the visitors out of sight and into the quarter-finals.
Simeone was praised for his tactics but writing in a post on Twitter, Owen was less convinced.
“Please spare me all this inevitable Simeone masterclass nonsense,” he wrote.
“There’s nothing genius about putting 11 top class footballers behind the ball. Liverpool absolutely pumped them throughout.”
Indeed, Owen’s tweet came after he claimed that Liverpool remain the “best team in Europe” despite their premature exit from the Champions League.
Owen’s view on Simeone’s tactics was one shared by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who claimed he could not understand the Argentine’s decision with such high-profile talent at his disposal.
Klopp said: “I am completely happy with the performance. It’s so difficult to play a side like this.
“I don’t understand with the quality they have the football they play. They could play proper football but they stand deep and have counter attacks.”