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Simeone talks Griezmann, Felix, Hermoso, fans after Atletico Madrid 2-1 FC Porto



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Atletico Madrid pulled off a nervy win over Porto on Wednesday night. The game featured one of the most dramatic endings of any football game with three goals in extra time deciding the winner.

Porto dominated the 90 minutes, recording 17 shots including seven blocked shots. They created two big chances and seemed to be on course to win. However, a red card to Mehdi Taremi in the 81st minute changed the complexion of the game.

After strikes from Mario Hermoso and Mateus Uribe cancelled each other out, the winning goal eventually came from Antoine Greizmann in the 101st minute and sent Los Rojiblancos atop Group B.

Diego Simeone spoke to the press (h/t Diario AS) after the game about his team’s performance and specific players who impressed him. Here are the snippets from his interaction.

On Porto’s display: “They were better in the match in the middle, won the ball and pressed better. They were better than us in terms of pressure, they didn’t let us do anything because of their intensity and it is not the first time it has happened to us with them.”

On Atletico’s subpar showing: “They worked very well, they didn’t allow us to play, we were not able to.”

On Hermoso’s dramatic goal followed by an equaliser: “Then came the goal, the half-lucky goal that Mario Hermoso hits, it seemed as if we were on our way, but we were not composed, we lost a simple ball, then the penalty that [Jan] Oblak almost pulls in.”

On the winning goal: “It ends with an important goal, a ball from a set-piece, which is something we haven’t managed for a while, glanced and finished. The triumph allows us to correct things, but the match was bad.”

On Griezmann’s limited game time: “We can see the reality and it is that in 30 minutes he is doing very well. We don’t know in 60. Let’s look at the realities.”

On Joao Felix: “He is working very well, especially in the search for what he wants. He looks more mature, he needs a goal. He needs that.”

On fans whistling his decision to remove Felix for Angel Correa: “It doesn’t bother me or surprise me. Joao is important, but so is Correa.”

On celebrating Griezmann’s goal: “Any coach scoring a goal at the last minute would be equally happy.”

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.

Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.

Llorente on Madrid derby

“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.

When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”

Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”

Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.

A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.

Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.

“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.

Marcos Llorente confident of Atletico Madrid’s chances ahead of the derby (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham

The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.

“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.

Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.

“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.

Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”

Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.

“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.

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