Former Premier League stars, Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves and Joleon Lescott have slammed Atletico Madrid for their ‘disgraceful’ antics during their Champions League quarter-final second leg 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Wednesday night in Spain.
Atletico Madrid drew goalless at the Wanda Metropolitano, meaning they were knocked out of the Champions League by 1-0 on aggregate, after losing last week’s first leg tie at the Etihad.
The LaLiga champions employed a physical approach in the game, with Atletico Madrid’s Felipe lucky to escape a red card for a terrible mid-air challenge on Man City’s Phil Foden in the first half of the encounter, but things boiled over towards the end of the second half.
Speaking on the incident on BT Sport, pundit Ferdinand said: “Distasteful behaviour from the Atletico players, they should be embarrassed with some of the antics they have gone on.
“You have to say, talking about football, well done to Atletico Madrid as they made Manchester City play in a way we haven’t seen for a long time, took them out of their rhythm and their stride. But some of the stuff towards the end was not what you want to see on a football pitch.”
On his part, Lescott said: “The last 10 minutes, you can’t condone that. It is not something you want to see from an elite coach and a top-level manager.”
Also, Hargreaves added: “City had so much composure and class. It was a disgrace from Atletico at the end. Just play nice football! They had a right go, but the antics were rubbish. Credit Man City, they’re so much more resilient. That was a really, really difficult game. Great performance from City.”
And Ferdinand concluded: “From what we have seen, it is handbags in the tunnel with Atletico and City. It is best that it ended like that but it is a pantomime. You have got Savic acting the fool. The thing that riled me, he kicked his calf, this is what Atletico do, if it was the reverse, they would be doing exactly the same thing.
“Great for City not to react to the antics. In the tunnel, it goes off, you feel nobody can see. But here it is just handbags. City showed grit and determination and got the job done. The experienced players are more mature now, they can control emotions, you saw the reaction was collective, but nobody overstepped the mark.”
Man City will now face Real Madrid in the semi-final tie later this month.