“I didn’t see it. I was with the players, applauding the fans,” Simeone said in his postmatch news conference. “When I went up the stairs [in the tunnel], nobody was there.”

Simeone denied that he had aimed ironic applause at City’s bench and opposite number Guardiola in added time — saying: “I didn’t applaud the opposition bench, I applauded our fans,” — but still appeared irked by Guardiola’s comments on Atletico’s  Madrid defensive tactics after the first leg.

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“Often, people with a large vocabulary are very intelligent, and they manage to praise you with disrespect,” Simeone said. “But those of us who maybe have a smaller vocabulary, we’re not so stupid.

“Football has a lot of facets. I won’t give my opinion on how the opponent behaved. We’ll focus on us, playing against maybe the best team in the world, and realising we could compete. But that doesn’t make me happy, the only thing that makes me happy is winning.”