Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has praised his side’s character after progressing to the final of Champions League by eliminating Bayern Munich on away goal rule following a 2-2 draw on aggregate.
Atletico Madrid went into the game with a 1-0 advantage before Xabi Alonso took the lead only for Antoine Griezman to equalised and Robert Lewandowski made it 2-1 to overturn the deficit at home. But with 2-2 on aggregate in both ties Atletico Madrid advanced to the final on away goal.
Both teams lost penalty kicks on crucial moments which could have changed the face of the game.
And Simeone heralded his boys for the triumph. “Both were key in their moments. A penalty transmits something 2-0 down would have been very difficult for us.
“The other way it could have been easier for us had Torres scored. But the lads showed great composure at the end of the game, it was not easy, we have gone through to the final, with so much joy.”
Simoene also admits that the opponents Bayern Munich were incredible in both first and second leg.
“The first time we saw a tremendous team, pressure, play, positioning, pace, aerial power, speed they were fantastic in the first half,” Simeone said.
“We had not much of a response. In the second half it was a different game, more balanced, we countered well and scored. That allowed us to get closer to the end, with the advantage of the goal at the Calderon.”
Atletico Madrid could face city rivals Real Madrid or Man City in the finals depending upon how the match turn out on Wednesday.
The two sides were 2014 finalist which Real Madrid won to book a tenth Champions League trophy but Simoene rejects any claims of revenge should the two clubs meet this season.
“That 2014 team was much more experienced, many players of 28 or 29 years old, this team has many more young players, who are learning as they go along. Koke, Saul, Griezmann, Jose Gimenez, Yannick Carrasco. It fills us with pride.
“We have a different chance, in 2014 we had to play on Saturday in Barcelona, the following Saturday against Madrid.
“This year we will have a fortnight, which will help both finalists. Life is not about revenge, but about new opportunities, and this is a new opportunity.”