Horse, Diego Pablo Simeone appeared in the Etihad press room in a state of average satisfaction. On one hand, he filled his team’s defensive exercises. On the other hand, he left clear signs of being aware that Atletico will need to be more productive in the attack through a significant improvement with the ball. “The result is bad because we lost 1-0 and we were looking to win. We face an extraordinary opponent. The numbers tell how many goals they score at home. They play in a very dynamic way, proposing a collective and choral game that is great to watch”, the athletic technician analyzed earlier.
Ederson Moraes, AK, John Stones, Canslow, Laporte, Gundogan (Grealish, Min. 67), Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Sterling (Gabriel Jesus, Min. 67) and Mahrez (Foden, Min. 67)
Oblak, Savic, Reinaldo Mandava, Versalco, Felipe Monteiro, Rennon Augusto, Marcos Llorente (Matthias Cunha, min. 59), Coke (de Paul, min. 59), Kondogbia, Joo Felix (Lemar, min. 80) and Griezmann (League, min. 80) min 59)
aim 1-0 min. 69: De Bruyne.
punch Istvan Kovacs
yellow card De Paul (minimum 68), Correa (minimum 82), Gabriel Jesus (minimum 84), Versalco (minimum 91) and Ederson Moraes (minimum 91)
“We played with the idea of getting through the tie. In the first half, we defended very well to get to the point where they could not score. Just as his choral game is appreciated, we must value a strong defensive work and without shame, as we did,” claimed Cholo. “In the second half we had a few chances to counterattack, but we didn’t get the pass,” lamented Simeone. Focusing on what the second leg can deliver at the Metropolitano, Simeone is clear that City are “going to play that way”. Simon’s key is that his players are more successful with the ball. “When we have the ball, we have to improve. When we were able to broadcast it, we created some difficulty for them, ”warned the Argentine coach. “The changes sought to refill the energy with newcomers, they also did it with players who are very good offensively. De Bruyne is a specialist in those plays and he leveled the game 1-0”, Simeone concluded.
Some of the match statistics were too descriptive of Atletico’s poor offensive play. He did not try to score a goal, something that had not happened to him in the Champions League, at least since 2003–04. The possession (29.5%) was their lowest in a Champions League knockout match since March 2020 (28.8% at Anfield against Liverpool).
It is also notable that Antoine Griezmann did not touch the ball in the opponent’s field for the second consecutive game. This hasn’t happened to him since 2017 with Atletico in the same season.
“Everyone knew it would be a tough game. We have come for good results. We lost, but the tie is alive”, analyzed Jan Oblak. “We have defended well throughout the game, except in goal action. There is a lot of capture game in the city and they punish you if you go crazy. We had a cold head. It was only the first part of the tie. They haven’t got many opportunities. We did well defensively. Offensively, we have been lacking and we have to improve if we want to cross the tie. Tactically we have been good, they have only got chances to score. The tie is open, but in Madrid we have to be cool-headed, aware and take advantage of the opportunities that we will definitely have,” said the Slovenian goalkeeper.
Like Oblak, Saivic left the Etihad with the feeling that the defensive act was good, but the attack was not. “The home game will be special, but we have to do better in the attacking phase because we have to score two goals,” said the Montenegrin. 20 years. The defender said protecting his team’s back would be as important as improving the attack. “They are a great team that many players put in and then try to open the game or filter the passes. We will have a high level so that when we attack they do not hurt us because it will not be enough for us to just defend”, settled Saivic.