Diego Simeone has admitted Juventus were ‘superior’ to his Atletico Madrid side and deserved to go through to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Los Rojiblancos had won the first leg of their Round of 16 tie 2-0 in Madrid but a Cristiano Ronaldo downed them in Turin, as they crashed out 3-2 on aggregate.
“Juventus were superior to us,” Simeone told reporters after the match, as cited by Sky Sport Italia.
“There was the chance with Alvaro Morata’s header, but not much else. Juve continually pushed forward and entered into our penalty area, so we had to defend.
“I have to congratulate Juve, because they attacked very well. They did better and deserved the victory. It’s true, we made mistakes too, but they did better tactically and on the second balls.
“Juventus played in a similar way to what we did in the first leg. We struggled and they deservedly go through to the quarter-finals.
“I don’t think it was our worst performance, nor did I see a lack of character. They simply played better, and we have to congratulate them.
“We had played quite well towards half-time and created a big chance but were unable to do enough in the second half. We couldn’t contrast them.
“I think Juve’s greatest strength is their pressing capability. Even when we did escape their pressing, we weren’t good enough on the second balls.
“I want to be clear, we didn’t go out because we played badly, but because Juventus played well. When that happens, you just have to tip your hat to the opposition.”
“Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the world, he can put in these performances on big nights. He will have seen how I did it at the Wanda Metropolitano and, like me, was trying to show his character.”