Friday 20 July 2018

If City win, I'll get a proper job: Dunphy confident of Atletico after beating 'ordinary' Bayern

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Grafters, rogues, aggressors, and even Mexican pimps are all descriptions that Eamon Dunphy has applied to Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid side during the Argentine's successful stint in charge of the club.

The RTE pundit has long championed the Spanish side's physical style and he was understandably pleased after his favourite team upset Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich side 1-0 in the Champions League semi-final first leg tonight.

A gorgeous curler by midfielder Saul gave Atletico a lead they never relinquished on the night and vindicated Dunphy's incessant defending of their aggressive game plan.

Both before tonight's game and after Simeone's men shockingly dumped out the tournament favourites Barcelona in the quarter-finals, Dunphy vociferously argued with Liam Brady on the RTE panel as to whether Atletico's stykle was 'physical' or 'cynical'.

Dunphy insisted it was the former, Brady the latter and John Giles seemed to slightly favour Dunphy's argument.

Tonight, although he took issue with how deep the home side dropped, Dunphy was still delighted with the win.

"Although I'm an Atletico fan, I was disappointed with their performance in the second half," he said.

"I think Atletico up to a point were very good. They were good in the first half.

"I would be very critical of Simeone in the second half. He conceded far too much space and dropped far too deep.

"Bayern Munich are pretty ordinary. Alonso, it is not in his legs anymore. Robben didn't start, Ribery didn't start."

While Dunphy was disappointed with some of Atletico's play, he once again lauded their battling qualities.

"Look at them, so hungry around Ribery," he said when analysing the defensive battle.

"Three men there, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. Imagine that for 90 minutes. They have a resilience that is very admirable.

"It is a team of good pros. They don't give an inch. And if they see a young guy giving an inch, they get on to them."

Giles echoed Dunphy's sentiments while Liam Brady admitted that he couldn't brand the winners 'cynical' on this occasion.

"It is great to watch a team defending," Giles said.

"Most teams don't get any credit for it but it's an art and they [Atletico] have it."

The 1-0 win puts Atletico in a great position to win the Champions League, with Real Madrid or Manchester City waiting in the final should Simeone's men see off Bayern in the second leg.

For Dunphy, the thought of Atletico losing to the super-rich Manchester club is his football apocalypse.

"If they [Man City] win the Champions League, I'll get a proper job."

Online Editors

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