Diego Simeone is pleased that Atlético Madrid secured a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League on Tuesday. Last season, the club was eliminated in the group stage, but with the victory against Feyenoord, a spot in the quarter-finals is already confirmed. The Atlético coach reflected on the match after the game.

Simeone explains why Feyenoord's plan failed

During the press conference after the match, Simeone was asked whether this was the most important victory of this group stage. 'I mainly focus on ourselves and am very satisfied with this match,' began the Atléti coach. 'Defensively, we were very effective, and we knew where we could hurt Feyenoord.'

Simeone referred to Group E of the Champions League as 'balanced' but disagreed with a journalist who praised Feyenoord's high pressure. 'Well, I don't think this was the team that put us under the most pressure. That was Celtic when we played away. I don't think we were under a lot of pressure at home against Feyenoord.'

However, Simeone did see that Feyenoord tried to apply pressure, as coach Arne Slot announced. 'They did that again today, but I also saw that they quickly dropped back because they couldn't keep up with our ball speed. Our ball speed is so high, in part, because Axel Witsel is playing so well. The defense is solid, and that's where our football begins.'

The Atlético coach concluded with praise for Álvaro Morata, who missed a great chance against Feyenoord. 'He hasn't scored in three games now, but he feels fine. He has the confidence of the team and the staff. We did tell him at halftime to stay calm. If he does that, he'll start scoring again naturally.'