Simeone on Atlético’s shoot-out success

16 Mar

  • Diego Simeone: Atlético did not practise penalties before knocking out PSV in shoot-out
  • Simeone explains tactics and after reaching last eight “will never stop believing”
  • Phillip Cocu happy with PSV performance despite elimination
  • Quarter-final draw streamed live on from 12.00CET on Friday

Diego Simeone, Atlético Madrid coach
I’m delighted to get into the quarter-finals. Behind Juanfran’s winning penalty is a lot of hard work from a lot of people and it’s a great thrill for us to be in the quarters. We will continue competing and we won’t underestimate what it means to get to the last eight.

I decided to try a 4-3-3 system to win the match. We don’t practise penalties because it makes no sense. [Assistant] Germán Burgos chose the players for the shoot-out last year against Bayer Leverkusen and he did it again tonight. We have to congratulate him. It was tough last year and it was tough tonight because it’s not easy in these situations. It was like a chess game.

Watch: Shoot-out drama

They’re a very competitive and tough side. I want to highlight how happy we are to have finished the game with so many youngsters on the pitch. I also want to congratulate the fans on this incredible atmosphere. We will never stop believing.

It was a difficult game. We wanted to get in behind their two centre-backs with [Antoine] Griezmann and [Yannick] Carrasco. When I thought it was right to bring [Fernando] Torres on, I did. Then I brought on [Matías] Kranevitter to have more stability in the middle of the park. The side who made a mistake would lose. Neither side made any and in the end we went to penalties.

Nil-nil is always an anxious scoreline. We need to say well done to our opponents, who played with a 5-3-2 and they did it very well. But I think we showed more desire to win the tie in both legs.

Torres dreaming of Atlético glory

Phillip Cocu, PSV Eindoven coach
I have contrasting emotions. We are proud of the two performances against Atlético, especially here. Tactically we were very good, we battled a lot. But on other hand you’re disappointed after the penalties.

[Luuk] de Jong had cramp in both legs, so we had to make a change. Andrés Guardado also had some physical problems.

They changed their system in the second half and we had more difficulties, with Carrasco playing more on the wing. We had five at the back and had problems on the left but without giving them many chances. Then they changed again and after that we controlled the game, I think.

You can never be sure, but if we had scored, they would have needed two. We needed a bit of luck, we did not create many chances, and we were not able to score in the end.

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