Guardiola’s secret to nullifying Atletico Madrid’s tactics included U12s and U14s academy players

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Pep Guardiola sent the Manchester City ball boys a short video message before the Atletico Madrid Champions League game midweek.

Atletico Madrid are well known for their defensive, time-wasting tactics during big games, and Guardiola had a little trick up his sleeve to nullify their tactics.

According to sources from The Athletic, Guardiola sent a short video message to the academy players who were ball boys against Atletico, instructing them to immediately give the opposing players the ball every time they had a throw-in.

The ball boys are made up of Manchester City’s under 12’s and 14’s academy players. The report continues to say the youngsters were thrilled to be asked to play a part in the club’s victory over the Spanish side.

The tactic from Guardiola was employed to make sure the Atletico Madrid player’s were able to time waste to a minimal degree, and this is a key part of Diego Simeone’s style.

Defensive, pragmatic, and heavy game management pretty much sum up Simeone’s tactics, and there were clear signs of that against Manchester City this week.

Atletico failed to register a shot on target and lost the game 1-0, so the return leg will be an interesting one considering the Spanish club will be forced to attack.


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