Champions League: Atlético de Madrid created a perfect work of defensive football, until a brilliant pass ended everything and Manchester City won, the best in the world

The history of football is old. The bold, the offensive, are often pigeonholed as the good guys in the movie. The gambeta, the inspiration, the surprise. The dynamic of the unthinkable. Brazil in ’70, Holland in ’74, Guardiola’s Barcelona. There are examples all over the world. Aesthetics, above all things, with the goal that everyone has. Win, win, win. Likewise, the defense -dignified, respected, essential in all sports-, is despised by the majority in the world of football. Beyond the lyricists, who represent a small group: attack is always better than defense. The catenaccioEven today, it is despised. It’s a bad word. Argentina has two world champions, with the two historical styles: Cesar Menotti and Carlos Bilardo. And when he was one step away from consecrating himself again, it was in the times of Alejandro Sabella, the professor who was inclined, in addition to teaching, to pragmatism, to the blackboard.Kevin De Bruyne, the author of the goal, from behind; Foden, the one with the great pass, from the frontDave Thompson – APDiego Simeon it is on the same side of the counter. The only thing that interests him is winning (like almost everyone, but Cholo expresses it with an exaggerated, defiant vehemence), how is the subject of another analysis. The 1-0 loss to Manchester City, the best team in the world, an (almost) perfect work by Pep Guardiola, for the quarterfinals of the Champions League, in England, represents a superior analysis. It was a masterpiece of defensive football, a siren song from the rear, a perfect plan. Until something unforeseen happened, a genius. And it’s all over. A defense made up of five elements (Vrsaljko, Savic, Felipe, Reinildo and Lodi). Three brand steering wheels, containment; a couple of them (Llorente and Kondogbia) with a sporadic past as defenders. Griezmanna striker in disguise (almost no one noticed, he was an enthusiast as the first defender) and João Félix, a little light. There was not a single effective archery shot during the first chapter. Not one: not the most audacious on the planet, with De Bruyne, Gundogan, Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Sterling…nor the one that took the middle of the field as an imperturbable target. Pep said, before the football game, turned into a chess piece: “We all look for a way to win. If he succeeds, his will be correct, and if I succeed, I will have succeeded. I don’t know what it is to play ugly. I don’t judge opponents. We have not faced each other much because we are not in the same country. Some people have some misconceptions about how he plays Atlético de Madrid is more offensive than what people say. They are very offensive, they like to be safe, they do not take risks. They know the movement of the team. It depends on where the ball is, they are very good at interpreting every moment of the game”.The change that "change" everything: Pep Guardiola arranges the entry of Phil Foden The change that “changed” everything: Pep Guardiola arranges for the entry of Phil Foden OLI SCARFF – AFP It will have been a cordial, respectful declaration: it is clear that disproportionate praise for the conservative proposal is impossible. He doesn’t sit well with public opinion. The first (real) shot on goal was from Aleti: a kind of cross from Llorente, which Ederson captured. Worn out, with his socks down, Simeone needed a change of air. Aleti was playing with his tongue out, when he had the income of De Paul (regular up) and Angelito Correa (regular down). Immediately, Guardiola leaned towards Foden instead of Mahrez. Spicy southpaw, 21, created a fantasy (a fantasy in a play of frustrated attackers and brave defenders) and ended it all. A subtlety that passed between Reinildo’s legs and found De Bruyne’s empty pass. Without touching the ball, he just watched as he advanced a few meters and launched the impossible shot for Oblak.Atletico Madrid's Argentinian manager Diego Simeone (right) and Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola embrace before kick-off Atlético de Madrid’s Argentinian manager, Diego Simeone (right), and Manchester City’s Spanish manager, Pep Guardiola, embrace before kick-off OLI SCARFF – AFPSimeon’s lament it was felt even on the Racing field. However, it was not so serious: losing by the slightest difference against the giant of the millions, the figures and the coach recognized in the world (who is also inclined to the stopped ball, who does not despise the laboratory or the rigor in the brand ) is an open result. In his house, he must change the format: he has no other alternative.Angel Correa was booked (as was De Paul);  here in the tumult with Jack Grealish Angel Correa was booked (as was De Paul); here, in the tumult, with Jack Grealish OLI SCARFF – AFP Behind the changing rooms, the Argentine coach opened his umbrella. “You always have to come up with something better. It is a long game, divided into two parts, here and at home. They don’t care, they play the same. They are possibly the best team in the world. But with humility we will compete. Until where? As far as it goes, ”was his reflection. On the other frontier, Catalan offered a repertoire of measured satisfaction. “It has been a very disputed game, very difficult because they are masters defending all together at the back. With a 1-0 it will be difficult in the second leg, but we are going to win the game”, he warned. Black jacket, shirt, pants and tie of the same tone, Simeone lived the party as always. Passionate, a little overwhelmed, always convinced that order and defense represent the best paths to success. He is the Spanish champion, which is not little. Aleti never won the Champions League: City, neither. It is the pending account of Pep, which was extinguished in Europe when leaving Barcelona.Kevin De Bruyne's goal, the one that can define the seriesKevin De Bruyne’s goal, the one that can define the seriesOLI SCARFF – AFPEl Cholo represents a flag, Guardiola is the main actor of the other school, the one that seduces almost everyone. 70 percent possession, 15 shots against almost none for Aleti (because that was a disguised center, which ended up in the hands of the Brazilian). Not a single corner…Pep won, the only thing that matters. At least, for Simeone.

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