Atletico Madrid reached the Champions League last 16 with a 2-0 win against Monaco, despite Diego Simeone admitting ‘we ran out of energy’.
First-half goals from Koke and Antoine Griezmann were enough to make up for Atleti’s group-stage exit last season, despite Monaco striker Radamel Falcao missing a late penalty against his former club.
“Overall, the match was very good until the 70th minute,” Simeone said after the game.
“We started reading where to hurt them very well, with the movement to look for space, of which there wasn’t much because they came out well organised at the back.
“After that, we ran out of energy. The team felt the effort of Saturday’s game [against Barcelona]. They cottoned on to that and, obviously, they made things complicated for us.
“We couldn’t find the path to goal in games like these last season and if you don’t in this competition, it gets very complicated.
“We’ll be in the last 16 and we’re happy about that. We’ll see how the group pans out on the last day and how Dortmund fare.”
Los Colchoneros’ hopes of finishing first Group A were boosted by Borussia Dortmund’s goalless draw with Club Brugge, which left them two points clear at the top with one match left to play.
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Monaco
Koke 2, Griezmann 24, Savic sent off 82
Atletico Madrid:Oblak; Arias, Savic, Lucas Hernandez, Filipe; Lemar (Kalinic 63), Rodri, Thomas, Koke (Vitolo 46); Correa (Saul 69), Griezmann
Monaco:Benaglio; Biancone, Jemerson, Badiashile, Raggi; Grandsir, Massengo, Tielemans, Chadli (Diop 63); Golovin (Thuram-Ulien 63), Falcao (Sylla 55)