Diego Simeone has insisted that Atletico Madrid were not lucky to beat Liverpool, while explaining that “football is like boxing” in terms of picking your moments to strike in the final third.
Atletico knocked the defending European champions out of the competition after mounting a stirring comeback at Anfield on March 12.
The Spanish outfit were protecting a 1-0 first-leg lead in the last-16 encounter, and set up to frustrate Liverpool again in their own backyard.
Jurgen Klopp criticised Atletico’s defensive approach in his post-match interview, stating:
“I don’t understand with the quality they have that they play this kind of football. I don’t understand that.”
Simeone responded by saying “we play to win, with the arms that we have”, and has now doubled down on his comments during an interview with the AFA .
The Argentine head coach said:
“Football is like boxing because you have to know when it is time to attack. At Atletico, we know the virtues we have as a team.
“The example is when we played against Liverpool, a tremendous team, we knew that we could hurt him. When they talk about how we were lucky, I think of a team that lost 2-0 and scored three goals.
“That is not luck. The games must be valued as a whole.”
Simeone went on to reveal that Morata was carrying an injury when he came on to score the final goal of the match, but he was relieved to see his faith in the Spaniard pay off.
“Against Liverpool, we knew that Morata was injured, and that he was going to relapse. We lost 1-0 and the tension went up,” Simeone added.
“I thought ‘how could I put Morata there, carry on, and get injured again’, I committed suicide; I am going to put up with it until the end. And it went well: he was injured but he scored.”