Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid’s 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen allows him to go back to Spain “with a big smile on my face”.

Atleti scored four away goals in their Champions League last-16 first leg at Leverkusen, leaving them as heavy favourites to reach the quarter-finals ahead of the return fixture on March 15 and Simeone in a jovial mood.

“We thought before the game that, if we attack down our left side, we’d cause their right-footed defenders problems,” the Coach was quoted as saying by UEFA’s official website after the game.

“That’s exactly what we did. Leverkusen fought their way back into the game in the second half, but overall it’s a very satisfying evening for us.

“It’s important to have belief when you play away from home, and I thought we had that in abundance.

“We could even have won by a higher margin, but their goalkeeper pulled off two outstanding saves to deny Griezmann.

“Kevin Gameiro has never had a better game for us. Griezmann did very well too. I can go back to Madrid with a big smile on my face.

“We thought we could target Wendell, and that’s exactly what we did. We did well, but the important thing for us is that we continue to improve.

“It’s important not to concede that many goals at this stage of the tournament, so that’s something we need to work on.

“Leverkusen have nothing to lose in the second leg, so we need to be careful. Even so, we can be very pleased with our efforts this evening.”

Tags Bayer Leverkusen Diego Simeone