UEFA Champions League

Defense first as coaches' Serie A roots inspire 'catenaccio'

MILAN (AP) If recent form is any indication, the San Siro stadium should be a fitting setting for a Champions League final between two defensive-minded teams.

Italy is the home of "catenaccio" - lock-down defense - a sometimes painful tactic to watch that relies on tight defense, patience and seizing on counterattack opportunities once the opponent makes a mistake.

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has made no secret of his squad's "catenaccio" tendencies, conceding just 18 league goals in 38 Spanish Liga matches this season, the best per game ratio in Europe' s top five leagues.