Bayern win was ‘close to best version’ of Atletico: Coach Simeone

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Madrid, April 28 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has said he feels he watched “close to the best version” of his team when they beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the Champions League semi-final first leg football match.

“That was possibly close to the best version of the team (this season) without considering the match with Barcelona (in the quarter-final). We imposed the ways we wanted to play the game,” he said in a press conference after the match on Wednesday.

“A rival with much diversity always creates difficulties for us. We were more comfortable in the first half but in the second, they were.”

He added that while the first leg is over, “there is the second leg left, which is very important.”

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The Spanish team will carry forward a 1-0 advantage in the second leg match thanks to the spectacular 10th minute strike by Saul Niguez.

“Saul looked great coming out of his first dribble. That gives him the power to continue. He did well in the one-on-one. When he left the last dribble, I saw no more. I pictured the shot and when he scored, we were very happy especially for the move,” Simeone said.

He also praised the performance of Argentine player Augusto Fernandez.

“We are thrilled with his great match … And it makes us happy for having trusted him, that we were right in signing him,” he said.

Atletico’s French forward Antoine Griezmann also highlighted Niguez’s spectacular first-half goal.

“Saul scored a fantastic goal. We’re very happy with a win. In the second half, we saw that Bayern are a great team. It may be not so nice to see from the stand or in TV but our game is our game: defend strongly,” Griezmann said on Wednesday.

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