Champions League

Simeone upbeat despite Qarabag draw

2017-10-19 17:01
Diego Simeone (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone remains confident of progressing in the Champions League despite being held to a 0-0 draw with 10-man Qarabag on Wednesday.

Playing at the Baki Olimpiya Stadionu in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Primera Division side created a number of opportunities without scoring.

The result leaves Simeone's side in third in Group C with two points, behind Roma (5) and Chelsea (7). Qarabag are bottom with one point.

They had earlier in their European campaign held Roma to a 0-0 draw before losing 2-1 to Chelsea.

After the game, an upbeat Simeone said: "I feel very good, with enthusiasm for returning to work tomorrow to keep improving.

"In the first half we had chances to score but we didn't, and in the second half we were anxious and could not play with the clarity that we needed.

"Now, because of these draws, there will be a lot of pessimism but I absolutely believe in this team. I signed [a new contract] three months ago, knowing what was ahead.

"I have the peace of mind to wait until tomorrow to continue our improvement."

South African striker Dino Ndlovu was dismissed in the 75th minute for a second yellow card but Atletico were unable to take advantage by having an extra man.

Simeone added: "I trust my squad of players to fight in the Champions League despite the pessimism that will now invade the moment we're in.

"I do not consider this to have been our worst game. If we would have scored in the first half we would have played differently in the second.

"Late on we did not play with order or balance, but from the heart and with desire to win. That may not have been our best version."

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Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Bayern Munchen v PSG, Allianz-Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Sporting CP, Camp Nou 21:45
Celtic v Anderlecht, Celtic Park 21:45
Benfica v Basel, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moskva, Old Trafford 21:45
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