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Joao Felix urged to leave Diego Simeone’s ‘awful, cheating and anti-football’ Atletico Madrid as Phil Foden shows magic touch with assist for Kevin De Bruyne 80 seconds after arriving


Champions League knockout matches are often decided by individual moments of brilliance, and Manchester City’s win over Atletico Madrid was no different.

The Spanish giants made life difficult for Pep Guardiola’s side with a resilient challenge at the Etihad Stadium.

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Foden had an immediate impact to set up De Bruyne after just 80 seconds

Diego Simeone’s side posed a formidable challenge defensively and made the kind of aggressive display that established them as one of the toughest opponents in world football.

City unquestionably have quality in their squad, but the 1-0 win over Atletico can largely be attributed to Phil Foden’s immediate impact after coming off the bench.

It took just 80 seconds for the 21-year-old to provide the crucial quality moment to open the Spanish side, edging out Kevin de Bruyne who converted the decisive goal in the first leg.

The assist was his ninth of the season and his 20th goal contribution in 35 appearances for Guardiola’s side.

Foden was praised for his impact in such a crucial game, a stark contrast to young Atletico star Joao Felix.

The Portuguese striker is the fourth most expensive player of all time after joining Atletico for £113million from Benfica in 2019, where he was expected to prove his potential to be one of the best in the world.

Joao Felix urged to leave Diego Simeone’s ‘awful, cheating and anti-football’ Atletico Madrid as Phil Foden shows magic touch with assist for Kevin De Bruyne 80 seconds after arriving

Foden showed his true quality against a defensively robust team


A tally of 10 goals and five assists in 32 appearances is by no means a bad tally for Felix, but given his undoubted talent, questions have been raised about his suitability for a place in Simeone’s defensive system. .

A player with pace, trickery and creativity to burn, Adrian Durham believes the player would be best served by stepping away from Simeone and his ‘anti-football’ approach.

Joao Felix urged to leave Diego Simeone’s ‘awful, cheating and anti-football’ Atletico Madrid as Phil Foden shows magic touch with assist for Kevin De Bruyne 80 seconds after arriving

It was a frustrating night for Felix who rarely got the chance to show his undoubted quality

Speaking after the game, Durham said: “I’ll call it what I see it: this Atletico Madrid team is an absolute disgrace.

“I will call them horrible, cheaters, anti-football, no desire to entertain. Simeone is a benchmark pest.

“The players are sneaky, out-dwelling, fake ‘uns in the Sunday League.

“Atletico Madrid have no desire to play football. If I were Joao Felix, I would ask for a transfer so that I could continue to be a professional footballer.

Joao Felix urged to leave Diego Simeone’s ‘awful, cheating and anti-football’ Atletico Madrid as Phil Foden shows magic touch with assist for Kevin De Bruyne 80 seconds after arriving

Durham thinks Felix would be best served in a team that embraces his talents

“Why anyone would want Simeone to be their manager, I don’t know.”

Durham wasn’t the only person unimpressed with Atletico’s approach, with Guardiola taking aim in his post-match comments.

He said he [Diego Simeone] put Griezmann on the far right and Joao Felix on the far left, and they went 5-5-0. Two lines of 5.

“And in prehistory, today and in a hundred thousand years, attacking a 5-5 is very difficult. It is that there is no space.

“Apart from the fact that they are very competitive and they defend very well, there is no space.”

Thanks to Foden, however, when City found him, they made him count.

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