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Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone was pelted by drinks at Old Trafford
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone was pelted by drinks at Old Trafford (Pictures: BT Sport/Getty)

Diego Simeone claims he was not aware Manchester United fans pelted him with drinks following Atletico Madrid’s win at Old Trafford, but the supporters have nevertheless been labelled ‘shameful’ by pundits while UEFA consider punishing the Premier League club.

Simeone led La Liga champions Atletico to a famous victory in Manchester on Tuesday night, with the visitors securing a narrow victory to go through 2-1 on aggregate.

Tempers boiled over on and off the pitch, with United’s players growing increasingly frustrated by Atletico’s tactics and fans aiming abuse at the Spanish side and their manager.

After Atletico Madrid’s place in the Champions League quarter-finals was confirmed, Simeone immediately ran down the touchline in the direction of the tunnel, only to be pelted by a number of drinks and other objects from the home fans.

Asked if he was aware of the missiles thrown by angry United supporters, Simeone said: ‘No, when I came off the pitch, I ran because I was happy and I like to enjoy it in the dressing room.

‘So I don’t know what happened. What you just said, all I was thinking about was getting into the changing room to the dressing room, and I was really happy.’

On Atletico’s performance, Simeone added: ‘I’m happy. So many people work hard so we can have these moments. It was a brilliant effort from the lads, one of our best games this season.

‘We started with a 5-3-2 then changed to a 5-4-1 with Antoine Griezmann on the right of midfield and Renan Lodi growing more and more on the left.

‘Lodi’s doing really well. He had to wait a long time [to get in the side], but football is marvellous because when you train hard and are ready to go, there’s always a chance for you.

‘The defence were brilliant and Jan Oblak helped us remain calm throughout. It was a real team effort.’

Simeone’s decision to immediately head back to the dressing room, often eschewing from the traditional post-game handshake with rival managers, is something of a habit.

He said in November: ‘I don’t like the greeting after the match because they are the emotions of two sides in different emotional minds.

Atletico dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League
Atletico dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League (Picture: Getty)

‘I know in the UK it is a custom but I don’t share it and I don’t like the falseness it may include.’

Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara blasted the Manchester United fans who threw objects at Simeone after their club’s Champions League exit.

‘Manchester United fans, some of you should be ashamed of yourselves throwing things at the manager as he’s trying to run down the tunnel,’ he told talkSPORT.

‘Unacceptable, you should be banned and more needs to be done with this because I’m sick of seeing it.

‘Since we’ve come back from COVID with fans back in the ground, I don’t know why all of a sudden that fans think they can throw things at players, at managers.

United have gone another season without lifting a trophy
United have gone another season without lifting a trophy (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s not good enough, it’s not acceptable and it’s got to stop. There needs to be harsher punishments because I’m seeing it way too much.’

Atletico Madrid could face Manchester United’s Premier League rivals Liverpool or Manchester City in the next round of the Champions League, while Chelsea will look to continue their defence against Lille tomorrow night.

For United, their defeat to Atletico means they have now gone five seasons without adding to the trophy cabinet at Old Trafford.

To add insult to injury, the club will likely face punishment from UEFA after the scenes inside the stadium after the final whistle.

United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said: ‘I think we played a very good first half – exactly the way we wanted to play with a high energy level but we couldn’t convert that into one or two goals.

‘We had a few good moments where we should have scored but we didn’t. Conceding that counter-attacking goal just before half-time didn’t make life any easier.

‘It was hard in the second half and always interrupted. There was always somebody lying on the floor. I would also say some curious refereeing decisions.

‘I wouldn’t say they were decisive but at least he fell too often for those time-wasting antics and four minutes at the end added on was a joke for me.’

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Source: Metro Sport

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