Sergio Asenjo backed Diego Simeone’s decision to send him up for a last-minute corner, commenting that the referee’s extra time was ‘surprising’.

With the score at 0-1 to Rubin Kazan in the final minute of stoppages, Asenjo was sent up for an Atleti corner, only to see the Russians break and end the Round of 32 first leg Europa League clash with a 2-0 advantage.

“We knew it was the last play and the Coach has seen fit for me to go up. Surprisingly the referee continued play for another 30 or 40 seconds over time,” explained Asenjo afterwards.

“To have this end is difficult, but we have to overcome it, we know that Atletico can go to Russia to pick up the tie.”

It is two consecutive defeats for the previously on-song Atleti.

“Both the other day and this game the team has not picked up the pace in the opening minutes, while in other days we were like motorcycles. You have to change and again demonstrate that we are, in those minutes of the game, still Atletico Madrid.

“The season has been incredible and before it began we would have taken the position that we are currently it. We really want to go to Russia, approach that game as a final and turn it around.”

Tags Asenjo Rubin Kazan Simeone