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Diego Simeone: We had never faced a team with the intensity of Chelsea.

It's been one week since Chelsea made history against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Diego Simeone has had time to reflec...


It's been one week since Chelsea made history against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Diego Simeone has had time to reflect on the game and has paid Chelsea a massive compliment. 

Looking from afar I think you would be hard pushed to not admire Diego Simeone and what he has achieved as a manager at Atletico. His overall record is fantastic coupled with the performances of his team in Europe's biggest club competition, he will be there or thereabouts once again this season. 

Simeone's side have a reputation for being frugal, defensively sound and a side that work for every ball. They do not allow teams the freedom to play against them and are more than happy to grind out a 1-0 victory. It's fair to say that they are the only team that has made a genuine challenge to the dominance of Barcelona and fierce rivals Real Madrid both domestically and in Europe. 

Four seasons ago, Chelsea fell to Simeone's impressive, hard-working side at Stamford Bridge as his side gave us a footballing lesson on the night and all of us felt like we owed them for it last Wednesday. 

With Chelsea playing well, heading to Madrid for the game, we all knew that we had the potential to cause them problems but would have bitten your hand off to take away a point with a draw in their new stadium.


What happened was something totally different as I posted here, Chelsea did to Atletico Madrid what they normally do to other teams, we pressed them high, played with intensity and dominated the game. Despite it being the last kick of the game for Michy Batshuayi to score the winner, Chelsea more than deserved it on the night. 

Steven Gerrard working for BTSport said straight after the game: "I have never seen anyone do that to Atletico Madrid and rip them apart. Not even Barcelona or Real Madrid have done what Chelsea have done to them tonight" - He was spot on. 

So to Simone's comments to a local Spanish Radio station this week. He was asked of the Chelsea game last week and of the English teams in the competition this season. He responded by saying: 

"The English teams have improved so it’s much more open. There is less margin for error now.

We had never faced a team with the intensity of Chelsea. We struggled to press them effectively. We improved when (Antoine) Griezmann went on (Tiemoue) Bakayoko and left David Luiz free. But we were imprecise."

It was a fantastic performance and you could argue that we put all our eggs in the one basket this passed week with that game as the priority rather than Manchester City; suffering the consequences of our exploits on the continent.

It's still so frustrating for me that we produce a performance like that in Madrid, then the crap we sat and witnessed against Manchester City on Saturday.

However, we cannot under-estimate the impact of our performance on the top sides in the Champions League who would have sat up and taken real notice of our intent that night coupled with our performance.

What a compliment from Diego Simeone. 

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