‘We respected Atleti too much’

Nenad Bjelica reflected that Austria Vienna ‘showed too much respect’ to Atletico Madrid to fall to a 3-0 home defeat.

The third round of games in the Champions League group stage provided for a resounding win for Diego Simeone’s side, thanks to Raul Garcia’s opener and Diego Costa’s two strikes either side of the break.

For the defeated hosts’ Coach, the issue lay with his side’s slow start to proceedings.

“We didn't snap into challenges the way we had intended in the opening 20 minutes – we showed too much respect,” Bjelica told UEFA’s official website afterwards.

“We allowed our opponents too much space. Being 2-0 down against a superior side like Atletico 20 minutes into the game is a problem.

“We did not give up, but Atletico were far too big challenge for us today. It was not our day.

“It was a tough game for us – Atletico are clearly a quality side. The difference between the squads is approximately €200m in player value.

“Atletico are full of international stars from Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. They are in good form and proved too strong for us.

“We created some chances and got into the match, but it was too late. We are not scoring enough goals but today, unlike against Porto and Zenit, we did not manage to keep a clean sheet for long.

“The Champions League is a big learning curve for us and, with Zenit winning in Porto, we have a chance of claiming at least third and the Europa League spot.

“But this is not over yet – we are only halfway through the group stage. We have three games remaining and will look to record our first win in the Champions League.”

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