Diego Simeone acknowledges his substitutions made the difference as Atletico Madrid beat Roma 2-0 and now his hopes lie with Qarabag.
Antoine Griezmann had been jeered by the fans after going two months without a goal, but broke his drought in spectacular fashion with an acrobatic volley and assist for Kevin Gameiro.
“We hope the goal can knock him out of this limbo he’s been in,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.
“The substitutions gave us more strength and pace, allowing us to get ahead. It was an important game, similar to the one at the Olimpico, where their goalkeeper Alisson was extraordinary."
This was the first Champions League win of the season for Atleti and only their third victory in the last 11 competitive games.
“At the start Roma pressed us well in our own half, but slowly as time wore on, the substitutions gave us the right breakthrough. The lads realised the situation and were able to hurt Roma.
“I was impressed with Roma, they pressed us a lot, especially in the first half. Radja Nainggolan has extraordinary spirit and he’d be perfect in my team.”
Atletico Madrid can still qualify, but only if they win away to Chelsea and Roma fail to beat Qarabag at the Olimpico.
“Roma are a stronger team than Qarabag, but we’ve seen all sorts of strange things happen in football. We’ve just got to win our game, wait and see.”