Simeone lauds great showing

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone hailed his side's display against Bayern as one of the best in his hugely successful five-year reign in charge.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone hailed his side's display against Bayern as one of the best in his hugely successful five-year reign in charge.PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID • Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone hailed his side's display as one of the best in his hugely successful five-year reign in charge, as Yannick Carrasco inflicted another 1-0 defeat on Bayern Munich at the Vicente Calderon.

Simeone's men also beat Bayern at home in April on their way to a second Champions League final in three years.

And the Argentinian lauded Atletico's tactical discipline as they secured an incredible 15th clean sheet and 14th win in 18 home Champions League games under him. "I feel so proud to be the coach of this team," he said.

"I liked everything today. We pressed high, took advantage of spaces on the counter-attack and played with intensity for 90 minutes, which is very difficult to do against one of the best teams in the world.

"Tactically, the team interpreted the game fantastically. It was one of the best performances in my time at Atletico Madrid."

Defeat was Bayern's first since Carlo Ancelotti replaced Pep Guardiola, after a perfect eight wins from eight before the former Real coach returned to Madrid.

However, it was a familiar story for Bayern, as having been knocked out by Spanish sides for the past three seasons in the Champions League, they failed to score on Spanish soil for the fourth consecutive trip.

"Atletico showed a killer instinct tonight, and we did not," said Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. "We will have another chance to beat them in Munich."

Top spot in Group D is likely to come down to that meeting between the sides on Dec 6, as both won their opening games against FC Rostov and PSV Eindhoven.

And Arjen Robben insists Bayern must find a way to counteract the "unpleasant" tactics used by Atletico.

"That is a big game for the group phase. Last season it was a semi-final and you could see why," said the Dutch winger.

"We have to learn from this and keep going."

Ancelotti was disappointed about the loss but remained upbeat.

"Losing is always sad," the Italian said.

"You never want to lose. We are at the start of the season. We still have the chance to top the group and we will need to beat Atletico in the return game to do so."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2016, with the headline 'Simeone lauds great showing'. Print Edition | Subscribe