CHELSEA fans took aim at the below-par Atletico Madrid last night – with ‘Spanish Burnley’ trending on Twitter.
The Blues claimed a 1-0 win over Diego Simeone’s Atleti on Tuesday with comparisons made between the LaLiga side and the Clarets.
Diego Simeone was forced to defend Atletico Madrid’s approach against ChelseaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Sean Dyche’s Burnley are notorious for their tough-to-beat style, while being unafraid of sitting deep and playing long balls forward.
Many fans and pundits accused Atletico of a lack of ambition against Chelsea, failing to fire off a shot on target while controlling just 37 per cent of possession.
Los Rojiblancos’ pass success rate of 75 per cent was a tick above Burnley’s average this season (71.4 per cent) but some way off their opponents in the Champions League last-16 first leg (86.6 per cent).
The defensive stance taken by Simeone’s side, along with images of the Atleti defence sitting very deep, led to fan taunts online.
One Chelsea fan on Twitter claimed: “The LaLiga title challengers?? More like the Spanish Burnley.”
Another added: “Atletico Madrid are the Spanish Burnley…. Ffs 6 defenders.”
A Blues supporter remarked: “You people actually thought this Spanish Burnley side can score against Chelsea.”
While one fan account tweeted: “Realise we’re actually playing against the Spanish Burnley today.”
One snapshot of Atletico’s deep defence caught fans’ eyes
A spectacular Olivier Giroud goal won the first leg in BucharestCredit: EPA
And one Clarets fan joked: “Spanish Burnley is trending. We have triggered so many fanbases and I absolutely love it.”
Atletico sit top of LaLiga by three points, having scored the second-highest number of goals and conceded the lowest number.
Rio Ferdinand told the BT Sport studio that Spanish football was in a sorry state if that was the sort of performance put in by its best team, who knocked out Liverpool at this stage of last year’s competition.
The ex-defender stated: “This is a big reflection how poor LaLiga is at the moment, Atletico didn’t really threaten.
We need to have more of the ball and position ourselves better in attack. We’ll work on it.
“Chelsea seemed to coast, it was a fantastic finish, and they didn’t get tested after that. Not being at the stadium helps as well. They feed off that and probably lost that edge as well.”
Atletico have won only one of their last five in all competitions and fell on Tuesday night to an Olivier Giroud overhead kick.
The return leg takes place on March 17 at Stamford Bridge, and coach Simeone vowed to improve his side before then.
The Argentine told reporters: “We’ll be playing against an opponent with speed and will need to be able to stop it, to deal with forwards like Giroud and other powerful players.
“We need to have more of the ball and position ourselves better in attack. We’ll work on it, but we also have an important game against Villarreal.
“Work, work, work. I trust the team we have.
“If we were in the month of September and they told me we would have lost [to Chelsea] but we’re still leading [LaLiga], I’d sign for it.”
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