Football

Champions League: Atletico boss Simeone goads for goals at Chelsea

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is trying to lead his side to a third appearance in the Champions League final.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is trying to lead his side to a third appearance in the Champions League final. Inquam Photos via REUTERS - OCTAV GANEA

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone admitted his players would be on the front foot for their second leg game in the last-16 of the Champions League at Chelsea on Wednesday night. 

Advertising

Simeone, famed for his defensively minded teams, said the 1-0 first leg defeat could bring out the best in Luis Suarez who has not scored in a European away game since netting for Barcelona in a group stage match with Roma in 2015.

"Suarez is a crucial player for us,” added Simeone. “He is a striker with a huge amount of experience and influence. It would be the perfect match to break that run which everyone keeps talking about, so why not?”

In the 12 games since Thomas Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have not lost a game and conceded only twice.

"We're facing a team in very good form,” added Simeone. “I don't think Chelsea have any weaknesses.”

Memories

Atletico nurture fond memories of their last match in England inMarch 2020. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, they went to Anfield and eliminated the defending champions Liverpool with a 3-2 victory after extra-time.

While Simeone welcomes back key players Kieran Trippier, Yannick Carrasco and Jose Gimenez, Tuchel will be without midfielders Mason Mount and Jorginho who are both suspended. Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham will miss the tie through injury.

Tuchel said his players were well aware of the qualities that have propelled Atletico to the top of La Liga in Spain.

Tough

"With Simeone, Atletico are one of the toughest teams to beat, this is their characteristic," said Tuchel. "They have discipline, they are hard working and they have an organised defence.

"They also have incredible quality to attack and to play a possession game. They are a complete squad."

Defending champions Bayern Munich, boasting a 4-1 advantage over from the first leg in Rome, are expected to move into the last eight on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday night, Manchester City and Real Madrid beat Borussia Moenchengladbach and Atalanta respectively to join Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund in the last eight.

 

 

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning