Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is already thinking about next week’s big game at Real Madrid after their goalless draw against their city rivals in the UEFA Champions League.
Jan Oblak came to the rescue in the first half of Tuesday’s first-leg quarter final game at the Vicente Calderon stadium with a string of saves and Atletico were arguably the better side after the interval. “Next Wednesday we expect a classic game, those that anyone would love to play in,” Simeone said on his club’s official website. “It will have that fear and anxiety factor that makes us fall in love with this sport.
“We need to show that same intensity and complicity that we had in the second half. We will go to the Bernabeu stadium with the idea of trying to do the best possible thing in what will be a very tough and difficult game.”
Atletico were put under pressure from the start by Real’s attacking play. “Real were better in the first half, they had more opportunities and we had a great Oblak,” Simeone said. “But the best thing of the game was our reaction. Another wounded team would have conceded but we changed the intensity of our play and it was a balanced affair.”
Simeone’s side lost to Real in last season’s Champions League final in Lisbon but have since avoided defeat against them in their last seven meetings. Oblak, meanwhile, does not think a goalless draw was a bad result for Atletico ahead of the return leg at the Bernabeu stadium on 22 April.
The Slovenian goalkeeper said: “This was a tough game. The important thing is that there is another match and we are alive. Of course, you always want to win a game but the most important thing is that we didn’t concede a goal at home. Real are a top team with great players but the tie is wide open and we will see what happens.”