Diego Simeone has said that in contrast to Chelsea, Atletico Madrid went into the Champions League semi-final first-leg looking for a goal.
The match ended in a 0-0 draw amid a defensive approach from Jose Mourinho’s team, with Simeone saying in his post-match Press conference that Chelsea’s performance was typical for that stage of the competition.
“It was a classic game of the Champions League semi-final. Each team had its purpose – ours was to score a goal,” Marca reports Cholo as saying.
“They defended very well. It leaves open the knockout round. Now we play in their stadium, with their people and surely they’ll feel good.
“We looked for alternatives to score a goal and ended up with Gabi and Koke in the middle, Jose Sosa on the right, Raul Garcia on the left, Arda Turan…The intention was to play the game. Our opponent defended well.”
Simeone added that Atletico expected a cautious Chelsea, having been told that the Blues would come into the game with a safety-first mentality.
“We knew the line-up [the day before]. We had good information. That makes us happy, and also it came from England, which is even better,” Simeone revealed.
“We tried to break through and change the 0-0. We’ll see in a week if the result is better for us or them.”
Chelsea will be without Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel and Petr Cech for the return leg, with John Terry also a major doubt. The former pair are suspended, as is Gabi, while Cech and Terry are injured.
“Chelsea have a strong team and will find answers,” Simeone said when asked about the absences and the suggestion Mourinho will play a weakened team in Chelsea’s League game against Liverpool on Sunday.
“As the Coach said, they can rest players on Sunday and not put on anyone who will play us.
“I can’t respond to the decisions of the Coach when they are playing in the Premier League. We think only of our match against Valencia, nothing else.
“Gabi is a very important player for us but he has a yellow. You always try to find the best answers for the team to remain competitive.
“We have the enthusiasm and motivation to wear the shirt of Atletico and we are in a privileged position.
“We’re eating and resting. The only thing that interests us is first the game against Valencia and then next Wednesday.”