Klopp happy to avoid England opponent in Champions League draw

Pep Guardiola knows he must not let Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid stifle Manchester City when the teams face off in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The City manager was impressed with the way Atletico represented Manchester United in the previous round, preventing the Red Devils from imposing their game in the second leg at Old Trafford.

A 1-0 victory for Atletico took Simeone’s side through to the last eight as 2-1 aggregate winners, and now Guardiola and Simeone – arguably the two best managers in world football – are will face each other on the touchline.

Guardiola believes Simeone has a job for as long as he wants at Atletico, stressing that the security and support of the board is indicative of the club’s success, including winning the LaLiga title last season.

He also acknowledges that Atletico are so adept at the tenacious style they play that even a side of City’s level can be amply tested.

“They are what they are and they are able to avoid who you are. That’s Atletico Madrid’s greatest quality,” Guardiola said. “You try to impose your game but sometimes it’s so difficult.”

Simeone is considered a master of stifling opposing teams and derives an unparalleled work rate from his own players.

“But if he likes not conceding, I like him more than him,” Guardiola said. “If I want to win games, I like him more than him. I like counter-attacks like him.”

The City boss added: “I saw the first 15, 20, 25 minutes against Man United and United couldn’t breathe, [Atletico] makes an intensive high pressing.”

The quarter-final will be City’s first-ever meeting with Atletico in European competition, while Guardiola was eliminated in his last meeting with the Rojiblancos in the Round of 16 of this competition, when his Bayern Munich side were beaten in the 2015-16 semi-finals. -finals.

City will be at home on April 5 and travel to Madrid for the second match on April 13.

What Guardiola is certain of is that Simeone’s bosses support him, which the City boss says has underpinned the team’s success.

“When that happens you have an incredible achievement as a club and an institution,” Guardiola said.

“The most important thing happening at this club is that Simeone will not be sacked, and all the players know that he is the manager and will be the manager.

“All the players know that the hierarchy supports the manager unconditionally because of the results they have had in the past.”

Atletico were unable to match last season’s domestic performance this time around with Real Madrid the out-of-control La Liga leaders, but Guardiola admires there was no sense of panic or rush to do something radically different.

“We will try, knowing that it will be difficult in our two games against them,” said the City boss. “You have to be smart. They are waiting for the right moment. In every game, they have chances to score a goal.

“We are going to a beautiful stadium with amazing fans, and we are going there to reach the semi-final. I hope they are worried about playing against us.”