Tuesday 19 June 2018

Sweden SWE 1

South Korea KOR 0

REPORT

Belgium BEL 3

Panama PAN 0

REPORT

Tunisia TUN 1

England ENG 2

REPORT

Colombia COL 1

Japan JPN 2

REPORT

Poland POL 1

Senegal SEN 2

REPORT

Russia RUS 3

Egypt EGY 1

REPORT

Portugal POR

Morocco MAR

Uruguay URY

Saudi Arabia SAU

Iran IRN

Spain ESP

Denmark DNK

Australia AUS

France FRA

Peru PER

Argentina ARG

Croatia CRO

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Big Sam has a Premier League warning for Diego Simeone... and couldn't resist a slight comparison

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

There is an old cliché in American sports that offensive wins games while defence wins championships and over the last few weeks, Atletico Madrid are doing their utmost to turn that idiom into a reality.

Diego Simeone's stingy rearguard dumped football's most prolific attack out of the Champions League after beating Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage, and Atletico continued their progress towards European glory on Wednesday night after a 1-0 semi-final first leg victory over Bayern Munich's much-lauded offence.

Simeone has instilled a battling quality in his side that allow them to defend resolutely when necessary before striking with rattle snake-like precision when their opponent exposes themselves.

The Spanish side's success has made their manager extremely sought after and there have long been rumours of an eventual move to a Premier League club.

However, a manager based there at the moment - also well known for organising team's in a hard-to-beat fashion - doesn't think Simeone's tactics would be as applauded if he carried them out with an English club.

"He defends too much' - that's what he'd get here," Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce said in quotes reported by the BBC.

"It's an art, defending - everybody has forgotten that. It's a tactical art to be able to sense danger and block people's crosses and get your toe in without fouling them now and they are very, very good at it indeed.

"The whole team buys into it. You see Fernando Torres on the edge of his own box defending. You never saw that at Liverpool or Chelsea.

"Now, everybody can say 'well, that's not entertaining', but everybody is eulogising Simeone's tactics now. I wouldn't think they would do that in the Premier League so much."

Allardyce is famously sour that people criticise his style of play, once saying that if his name was 'Sam Allardyici' then maybe people would call him a tactical genius. Alas, he seems to count himself as one of those Simeone acolytes in England, destined to go unloved despite a lifelong commitment to the art of defending, as he added:

"At the moment, if we keep those clean sheet ratios going in the next four games, I am convinced we will stay up," - in reference to Sunderland keeping their opponents scoreless in three of their last four games.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport