Tuesday March 12 2019
Simeone: 'Juventus played better'

Diego Simeone admits “Atletico Madrid didn’t go out because we played badly, but because Juventus played well. You just have to tip your hats to them.”

The Colchoneros had a 2-0 first leg lead going into Turin, but crashed out 3-0 in the second leg of the Round of 16 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

“Juventus played better. There was the chance with Alvaro Morata’s header, but not much else. Juve continually pushed forward and entered into our penalty area, so we had to defend,” said Simeone on Sky Sport Italia and in his Press conference.

“I have to congratulate Juve, because they attacked very well. They did better and deserved the victory. It’s true, we made mistakes too, but they did better tactically and on the second balls.”

Atleti had 38 per cent possession and failed to get a single shot on target, nor earn a corner.

“Juventus played in a similar way to what we did in the first leg. We struggled and they deservedly go through to the quarter-finals.

“I don’t think it was our worst performance, nor did I see a lack of character. They simply played better and we have to congratulate them. We had played quite well towards half-time and created a big chance, but were unable to do enough in the second half. We couldn’t contrast them.

“I think Juve’s greatest strength is their pressing capability. Even when we did escape their pressing, we weren’t good enough on the second balls.

“I want to be clear, we didn’t go out because we played badly, but because Juventus played well. When that happens, you just have to tip your hat to the opposition.”

There was a decisive hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo, who then celebrated the penalty by replicating Simeone’s ‘cojones’ gesture from the first leg.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the world, he can put in these performances on big nights. He will have seen how I did it at the Wanda Metropolitano and, like me, was trying to show his character.”

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