ATLETICO MADRID brought the rude, the bad and the ugly side of football to Parkhead last night.

The Spaniards left with a point in a 2-2 stalemate after overcoming the trauma of losing a goal to Kyogo Furuhashi in the fourth minute of their Champions League Group E encounter.

There were some aspects of their intricate play that caught the eye, but it’s near impossible to warm to this club after dark memories of their European Cup semi-final in 1974 at the same venue when they were reduced to eight men following a sickening and disgusting display in front of 74,000 stunned fans in the east end of Glasgow.

And they still have the ability to leave a sour taste in the mouth after their latest offering.

ENDGAME…Brendan Rodgers gestures to shake hands with Diego Simeone.

THE RUDE was provided by head coach Diego Simeone whose facial expressions tend to suggest he has gone through life chewing a wasp.

The one-time Argentinian hard man of Inter Milan is obviously bereft of social graces as he demonstrated so capably yet again at the final whistle.

It is usual protocol for opposition managers to at least exchange a handshake following battle. It’s designed as a show of mutual respect between two combatants.

Surly Simeone practically blanked the Celtic boss who had made his way towards his dug-out rival to acknowledge him and his team for their efforts in a game in which they had come back twice to gain a draw.

The agitated Atletico gaffer seemed preoccupied with something going on elsewhere as Rodgers waited patiently and politely for his opponent to recognise his presence.

The Argentine turned to head up the tunnel when he apparently at last noticed the Hoops chief. He stalled briefly, made a cursory gesture with a swift and lame touching of hands and then disappeared into the bowels of the stadium, no doubt to continue practising his scowl in the away dressing room.

PUT IT THERE…Brendan Rodgers prepares to make the time-honoured gesture between managers.

THE EYES HAVE IT…Diego Simeone appears to acknowledge the presence of his opposite number.

TOUCH AND GO…Diego Simeone offers a flimsy handshake to Brendan Rodgers.

GOOD RIDDANCE…Brendan Rodgers looks a tad surprised as Diego Simeone heads down the tunnel. Images courtesy TNT Sports.

Simeone was born 53 years ago in Buenos Aires, the city that that housed the Racing Club team that kicked lumps out of Jock Stein’s men in the three games in the Intercontinental Cup Final in 1967.

Seems like some of that attitude from another era has rubbed off on a former midfielder who once described his playing style as “holding a knife between his teeth”.

This personification of charm should be reminded he is supposed to be a sportsman in a privileged position at one of his adopted nation’s top teams.

Rodgers, unfortunately, will probably be forced to go through the same classless routine with the belligerent rival a week on Tuesday in the Spanish capital.

We can only hope Celtic give stroppy Simeone a genuine reason to throw the toys out of his pram at the Metropolitan Stadium.

GOING DOWN…Naheul Molina indulges in his dying swan act after being touched by Greg Taylor.

THE BAD was provided by the antics of the visiting players who were only too willing and eager to embrace the Parkhead turf when an opponent deemed to touch them.

The penalty-kick decision by German referee Felix Zwayer that brought the most fortunate goal for Antoine Griezmann in the 25th minute highlighted the Spaniards’ wholehearted willingness to con a dodgy match official.

Naheul Molina and Greg Taylor chased a ball in the box before there was the merest hint of a connection between the two.

Down went the visiting player, the whistler bought it, pointed to the spot, Antoine Griezmann swept it low to Joe Hart’s left, the keeper managed to divert it onto the post and the rebound went straight back to the relieved Frenchman who couldn’t miss on this occasion.

There is an old adage that insists “the devil looks after his own.”

GOING OFF…Rodrigo de Paul gets his marching orders from referee Felix Zwayer after a second yellow card offence. 

THE UGLY came in the shape of the constant cases of obstruction and shirt-pulling throughout the 90-plus minutes.

Give Simeone some credit – he hooked Javi Galan at the interval before the left-back was sent off following a procession of fouls on Daizen Maeda.

The first was committed in the opening minutes and, alas, Herr Zwayer didn’t feel compelled to have a word. After that, it was open season on the willing Japanese raider.

The defender was booked for one misdemeanour too many as he found his opponent too lively to contain by fair means.

Three Atletico players were banished in 1974 and only one – Rodrigo de Paul – this time around, so they are making slow progress.

On this front, you have to hand it to Diego.

Whether or not he acknowledges your gesture is open to debate.


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