Atletico Madrid bounced back from their opening day defeat in perfect fashion with a 1-0 win over Juventus last night.
A tight and nervy affair was settled by Arda Turan in the second half as he met Juanfran’s pinpoint cross to become the first man to score past Gianluigi Buffon this season. Diego Simeone was understandably satisfied with the result and was quick to praise his players for grinding out this vital win.
“We faced a great team,” Simeone told reporters.“I think we played a tactically intelligent game, as Juve have strong strikers who are reference points and champions in midfield with a high three-man defence. It’s not easy to play against them.We knew that we could hurt them with crosses and pull-backs, as it is difficult for them to close down the wings.”
Juventus had majority of the possession but Simeone assured it was all part of the plan.“We allowed them to press us in midfield and in the first half Juventus played better, but we were more aggressive after the break and could slowly see what was going to happen.I think the game opened up, when we introduced Griezmann and moved to a 4-4-2 we knew it would open up the game. In the second half, we changed from the 4-5-1, which is solid defensively, to a 4-4-2 which is more powerful in attack. The first half was very complicated but after we switched to a 4-4-2 the game became far more open.We scored and took control of the game.I think both teams stuck true to their ideas tonight and chances were hard to come by. We smelled more danger in the second half but Juanfran and Arda Turan did what they always do.The game turned out just as I thought it might do. A close affair that would be decided on minor details.We played against a team of fighters tonight but fortunately for us, the details were in our favour.Arda Turan is an extremely intelligent player but I think the team was very good overall tonight. Now this one is done, our attentions are already on the upcoming game against Valencia.We knew that overcoming Juve would not be easy, Juve are very solid, the midfield, the defense, the goalkeeper they are all very strong. We have recovered with this victory [after defeat in the opening match], and everyone is equal [in Group A] after Malmo’s win, but Juventus remain the strongest of the group.
Juanfran who got the assist for the only goal in this game was adamant that his side deserved all three points, “It was an exciting game against one of the best teams in Europe,We did a great job and we deserved the victory.They are two evenly matched teams in intensity and strength. Juve are a great team and we had to respect them.That they didn’t get a shot on goal speaks well of the entire team, not just the defence of Moya. This was our most demanding game. The fans can be proud of their team.There is still a lot to do. Nothing is won yet.”
Diego Godin also highlighted the importance of this crucial win while he also had words of praise for the opponents last night.“It was a difficult match and it was fought as we had imagined,” the 28 year-old told reporters.“Juventus do have great players and they put in the maximum effort, but we gave everything and got rewarded for it.We are pleased with the result and now we will focus on our next match which could be decisive.”
Malmo beat Olympiacos 2-0 last night which means all the four teams have three points now leaving the group completely open.