‘Atleti developing all the time’

Diego Simeone was happy with his Atletico Madrid side’s performance against Zenit St Petersburg, as he remarks on the players’ continued development.

Los Colchoneros returned to UEFA’s premier competition on Wednesday night with a 3-1 home win in their group stage opener against Zenit.

“We dominated the first half and even though we struggled to create chances I always felt we were going to score,” Simeone reflected to reporters afterwards.

“Zenit improved in the second half and managed to equalise. We reacted very well and scored the second goal, before our third made the game safe.”

Adrian Lopez was handed a start in place of the suspended Diego Costa.

“Adrian Lopez is a very important player for us. He did what the team needed tonight and I'm very pleased with him.

“Everybody knows about his quality and I hope the support of the fans helps him improve.

“When you have a strong group of players the team responds. We need everyone available and plenty of options throughout the competition.

“Arda Turan's goal shows our hunger; we never stop until we get what we want.

“[With the third goal] the match was at a crucial point and Leo Baptistao did a great job. He read the situation perfectly and took his goal well.

“Zenit and Porto are more experienced teams than us. For many of our players, it is their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League, but we are developing all the time.”

Tags Simeone Zenit