Diego Simeone: “When the rival is better, you have to congratulate and reset yourself to think about La Liga again”

Atletico Madrid travelled to London tonight for their Champions League last 16 second leg against Chelsea, losing 2-0 to their much-superior hosts and seeing a man sent-off.

Los Rojiblancos had lost the first leg 1-0 at a neutral venue, with Diego Simeone setting up to secure a clean sheet only for his defence to be breached by Olivier Giroud.

Things didn’t get off to a great start for Atletico, however, despite the positive system Simeone went with.

Luis Suarez

Chelsea dominated possession and didn’t allow Los Rojiblancos to find their frequency, and took the lead on the night shortly after the half-hour mark after a lightning quick break.

Hakim Ziyech dealt the killer blow, putting Chelsea 2-0 up on aggregate and giving Atletico quite the mountain to climb.

Atletico’s task was made even greater ten minutes from time when Stefan Savic was shown a straight red for an off-the-ball elbow at a corner kick, reducing them to ten men.

Koke

Chelsea put the final nail in Atletico’s coffin in injury time, when Emerson capped another impressively swift counter-attack to make it 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate.

“In the tie they were fair winners,” Simeone said post-match in comments carried by Diario AS. “The first game was even and today they were superior. We tried to pressure them high and make it difficult for them to get out, but they went ahead again.”

Simeone was dismissive when asked about the penalty shout Atletico had in the first half. “I’m not looking for excuses,” he said. “They were better. When the rival is better, you have to congratulate and reset yourself to think about La Liga again.”

Tags Atletico Madrid Champions League Diego Simeone La Liga