Gary Neville 'enjoyed' Atletico Madrid's antics during Manchester City clash

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has admitted he ‘enjoyed’ Atletico Madrid’s dirty tactics during their Champions League exit to Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Atletico played out a goalless draw with the Citizens at the Wanda Metropolitano, which was enough to see the Premier League side advance to the semi-finals after they won the first leg 1-0 courtesy of a Kevin De Bruyne goal.

However, the game was marred by a scuffle between the players in the closing stages, instigated when Felipe kicked out at Phil Foden, having earlier elbowed the same player in the head.

During the confrontation, in which almost all players and members of the coaching staff were involved, former City defender Stefan Savic also dragged Foden by the shirt, pulled Jack Grealish’s hair and appeared to headbutt Raheem Sterling.

Several players were booked, and Felipe was sent off as a result but even after the game had finished tensions were still high between the two teams and there were reports of more clashes in the tunnel where the police were called in to intervene.

While many were appalled by their behaviour during the game, Neville confessed on Thursday morning that he actually respected Atletico’s use of the dark arts.

Writing on Twitter, he said: ‘Unpopular view but I loved the Atletico Madrid v City match. I know most were disappointed with the Atletico Madrid behaviour, but I sort of enjoyed it.

‘Try and find a way to win, even if your inferior in talent. City’s players will be proud this morning in overcoming it!’

City’s work in the Spanish capital is not quite done yet, with Pep Guardiola’s side due to face Real Madrid, who beat holders Chelsea in a thrilling encounter on Tuesday, in the semi-finals in a fortnight’s time.

But for now, their attention will turn to Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool, who also advanced to the Champions League semis on Wednesday after knocking out Benfica.

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