Atletico boss Simeone seeking an away goal at Bayern

Date published: Thursday 28th April 2016 11:36

Diego Simeone: Arsenal talk played down

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone was delighted as his side edged Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night and believes there is more to come from matchwinner Saul Niguez.

Spain Under-21 international Niguez’s first-half solo wonder goal after just 11 minutes proved enough to hand the Spanish club a narrow 1-0 victory over Pep Guardiola’s men at Vicente Calderon.

Regarding Niguez’s ninth goal of the season, Simeone told BT Europe: “It was a great piece of individual skill with creativity. He’s a player that is developing really well and that’s great for us.

“You always want to score, but goals can come at any stage. We had a key chance in the second half.

“I think the first half was much closer to what we wanted. We got in front, we felt comfortable.

“In the second half they (Bayern) were better, they had lots of possession and they got in behind us. We defended well but it was a different game in the second half.”

Niguez took on the Bayern defence alone from 40 yards out, dribbled the ball past three more opponents before curling it into the bottom corner with a beautiful finish past the diving Manuel Neuer to hand his side the victory.

Arturo Vidal came closest to netting an equaliser for Guardiola’s side but the home defence worked hard to keep his and his team-mates’ efforts out as they recorded their fifth consecutive clean sheet.

With one eye on next week’s second leg at the Allianz Arena, a wary Simeone added: “It’s an open tie. Playing in Munich means they’ll have their fans behind them and home advantage. But we have a chance to get an away goal.

“It’ll be a close game like today’s and we’ll see who makes the most of their chances.”

Brazil defender Filipe Luis believes Niguez’s strike will go down in history as one of the best goals scored in the Champions League.

He said: “I think Saul’s character helped him to score that beautiful goal, it was really beautiful. One of the best goals in this Champions League so we’re really happy that his goal.”

Of their chances in Munich, he added: “The tie is totally open – I could say that it’s 50-50 because we know that they’re home, they play really strong, they play wider, the pitch is really fast and they’re going to have a lot of chances.

“I think we’re going to have to be humble at this time and give everything we have to be at the best level to reach the final – that’s our dream.”

Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak made a number of great chances to keep their opponents at bay following a second-half onslaught of efforts to find a leveller.

Looking forward to Tuesday’s reverse leg, he insists Rojiblancos head into the second leg with no fear.

He said: “I think all of the players showed that they can stop them and I hope in the next game that they are going to do the same.

“Of course, we don’t have fear never so we know it will be difficult. We respect them and we hope for the best for us.”

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