Tuesday 25 October 2016

Simeone hails Atletico 'mettle'

Atletico boss Diego Simeone. Photo: Michaela Rehle/Reuters
Atletico boss Diego Simeone. Photo: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone hailed the "huge mettle" of his team as they booked a place in the Champions League final at the expense of Bayern Munich.

Bayern won 2-1 on aggregate in Bavaria but Antoine Griezmann's strike for the Spanish side took them through to the final on the away goals rule after they won the first leg 1-0.

Simeone told his club's official website afterwards: "It was a fantastic first half from Bayern. Then, we saw a formidable team and had little response to the situations they proposed.

"The second half was more even. We went out very well in the counter-attack that resulted in the goal and that allowed us to have an advantage."

Thomas Muller missed a spot-kick for the hosts before Fernando Torres did likewise for Atletico and Simeone said: "A missed penalty always implies several things.

"Their penalty would have put them 2-0 ahead and made things very difficult for us. And later, with eight minutes to go until the end, it would have turned things around. But the boys showed huge mettle at the end of the match. We go through to the final very happy."

Bayern boss Pep Guardiola saw his team maintain their winning run at home in the Champions League thanks to goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski - but was disappointed to see his team exit at the semi-final stage again.

The Manchester City-bound Spaniard said: "I gave my life for this team, I fought and did my best. We played as we wanted to play today but we came up one goal short. I'm sorry."

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