Atletico Madrid failed to beat Simon Mignolet for the second time in eight days at the Civitas Metropolitano on Wednesday evening, meaning that they could only take a draw against Club Brugge. The consequences being that Brugge are through to the next round while Atleti will likely go down to the wire to get through to the Round of 16.
Porto defeated Bayer Leverkusen in order to move into second spot in the group, gaining a two-point advantage over Los Colchoneros, who have four points themselves. Should Porto beat Brugge in their next match, Atleti must win both of their remaining matches.
Speaking after the match to Mundo Deportivo, manager Diego Simeone tried to remain upbeat.
“I am an optimist and I will search to find the good things from my team. Morata was good. Rodrigo is starting to connect with the team again. Carrasco when we passed to him on the right started to be more electric.”
“All of them that started the match generated everything that I like to see, pressuring the rival. Words are very nice but only the reality matters. It got more difficult and we are in a place where the only good thing is that we have to win the two games remaining.”
It was also put to him that Atletico Madrid have regularly struggled in the group stage in recent years. Simeone was clear that this was an ongoing issue.
“No, it is not from this season, it has been a struggle for us for several seasons now. Then when we are in the Round of 16, because this is the team that competes best. The numbers don’t lie, the path to the Round of 16 is very hard for us.”