Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has double down on his assessment on his old club that they deserve to progress into quarter final of Champions League ahead of Atletico Madrid, criticizing Diego Simeone’s defensive approach after they dumped the Reds out of Europe.

He said: “Madrid players there will sit down in their dressing room and look at each other and say ‘Oh my word, how good were that team that we’ve just beaten there? We’ve never played anything like that’. Liverpool blew them away for 90 minutes.”

Fans on social media were quick to point out that a fair amount of the Rojiblancos’ current squad have faced both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at their peaks in La Liga, while they also got the better of a free-scoring Bayern Munich under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola.

Indeed, setting up to protect a lead and punish teams on the counter is widely considered to be part and parcel of Simeone’s tactical style, the Argentine boss keen to prey on teams’ weaknesses rather than go for an all-out attack approach and leave themselves vulnerable.

He wrote: “Please spare me all this inevitable Simeone masterclass nonsense. There’s nothing genius about putting 11 top-class footballers behind the ball. Liverpool absolutely pumped them throughout.”

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