Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has praised the club’s fans and forward Antoine Griezmann after beating Roma 2-0 on Wednesday evening.
Simeone had to make a last minute change to the squad list for the game, with Augusto Fernandez coming in to the team, replacing Juanfran who had suffered a muscular injury in his left hamstring.
There were five changes to the side following the weekend’s draw against Real Madrid, with Giminez, Felipe Luis, Augusto, Carrasco and Fernando Torres taking to the field, replacing the injured Juanfran, suspended Savic, Godin, Gabi and Correa.
The home side definitely looked most likely to score during the first 45 minutes with a number of great chances but unfortunately could not find the net.
In the 20th minute, Yannick Carrasco was close to opening the scoring, however his shot went just wide. A couple of minutes later, the Belgian laid the ball to Felipe Luis who whipped it in to Koke who headered it towards goal, however Roma keeper, Alisson managed to keep a hold of it.
In the 41st minute Atleti had the ball in the net thanks to a deflected shot from Augusto, however referee Bjorn Kuipers disallowed the goal following a handball from the Argentinan.
Los Colchoneros continued to push for a goal at the start of the second half with a number of counter attacking breaks, and by the 60th minute, Simeone began to start changing the team with Correa, Gabi and Gameiro taking to the field in place of Augusto, Koke and Carrasco.
Arguably the Italian’s best chance of the game came from a cross-cum-shot by captain, Radja Nainggolan, with the attempt hitting Jan Oblak’s front post. The deadlock was finally broken in the 69th minute when Felipe Luis found Gameiro in the centre of the pitch, who lobbed the ball over the Roma defence to Angel Correa, who chipped the ball along the goal mouth to be met with a sweet overhead kick by Antoine Griezmann to make it 1-0.
Any thought of a Roma come back were dashed in the 83rd minute when Bruno Peres was given a second yellow card for a studs up challenge on Felipe Luis. A couple of minutes later, Griezmann sent a through ball into the box that was collected by fellow Frenchman, Gameiro who rounded Allison and slotted the ball to double the lead.
“The team had a great game, we won deservedly,“ the Argentine coach said after the game.
“The second half was like the one we had in Rome. It was then that the most important thing appeared – a goal that paved the way to a victory.
“The team didn’t lose their composure as the game went on and played with heart, which led to the win.
“The night began with the support of our fans, and from there, we found ourselves and covered lots of ground. Antoine is also an important player, who won us another game tonight.”
The result means that Atleti now sit in third place on six points, two points behind Roma.
The club may need to depend on Qarabag to defeat Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on December 5th, and a win away to group leaders and already qualified, Chelsea, to stand a chance of being in the pot for the next round of the tournament.