Atletico Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday after Chelsea’s defensive game plan worked perfectly.
Atletico Madrid controlled the action for large periods of the game but couldn’t find a way to beat Chelsea who had indeed parked the bus in front of its goal. The hosts’ were not rewarded for their aggression and creativity as they were not clinical enough in front of goal to convert the few genuine scoring chances they did creat.
Simeone said that both sides did not have the cutting edge to progress to the final and felt that that has to be delivered in the second leg if side were to appear in the final of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in 40 years.
“It was a tough game where no-one could take an advantage. We could not find the goal that would have won the match”. said Simeone
“It was an intense game with both sides fighting to get through to the final. They have the advantage with this draw but whoever gets the victory will go to the final.”
“We are not happy, we wanted to get the win. They played a defensive game because they think they can win at Stamford Bridge. We also think we can win.”
He also acknowledged Chelsea’s parked bus saying:
“Going through the centre was very difficult because there were too many people in the way. Sosa’s entrance was good, because the team needed their midfielders, who created some dangerous situations. We had a more offensive team looking for the goal that never came”
Simeone had chosen to start Brazilian playmaker Diego in midweek, rather than the returning Arda Turan, but he was pleased with the shape of his side and feels there are plenty of positives to take from the evening.
He added: “I wanted add more people in the middle to assist (Diego) Costa. We’re looking for alternatives.
“(Jose) Sosa did well, Arda Turan did well. It was an intense game with many people fighting to reach the final.”
Simeone was not a bitter person about Chelsea’s rugged defensive game and said that his side will play the second leg with more enthusiasm:
“The best atmosphere to play football is the fixture we’ll play on Wednesday. It‘ll be a spectacular atmosphere and we’ll face it with enthusiasm and the motivation of wearing the Atlético shirt. We are enthused to play to play such a match in a filed such as Stamford Bridge and we expect the best”
Highlights From The Match: