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Diego keen for Atlético to avoid a Udinese repeat

Published: Wednesday 2 November 2011, 20.44CET
Diego wants Club Atlético de Madrid to heed the lessons of the 2-0 defeat by Udinese Calcio on matchday three when they host the Zebrette. "We have to be focused throughout," he said.
Diego keen for Atlético to avoid a Udinese repeat
Mehdi Benatia puts Udinese ahead against Atlético on matchday three ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AtléticoUdinese

Goals scored33
 
11
Attempts on target80
 
48
Attempts off target64
 
69
Corners86
 
49
Offsides38
 
44
Fouls committed276
 
139
Yellow cards32
 
18
Red cards1
 
0

Media services

Standings

Group I

PPts
1Club Atlético de Madrid Atlético47
2Udinese Calcio Udinese47
3Celtic FC Celtic45
4Stade Rennais FC Rennes42
* Ranking subject to CAS decision
Last updated: 17/05/2012 12:51 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 2 November 2011, 20.44CET

Diego keen for Atlético to avoid a Udinese repeat

Diego wants Club Atlético de Madrid to heed the lessons of the 2-0 defeat by Udinese Calcio on matchday three when they host the Zebrette. "We have to be focused throughout," he said.

Diego has urged Club Atlético de Madrid to be more ruthless when they renew UEFA Europa League acquaintances with Udinese Calcio, two weeks after a frustrating 2-0 defeat in north-east Italy.

Victories help us play with confidence and I'm sure our last win will help us tomorrow
Diego
Atlético played well in Udine and maybe deserved something, but it was a very even match and we were luckier
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin on the clubs' first meeting

Gregorio Manzano's men enjoyed the majority of possession and chances only to be on the receiving end of a lesson in clinical efficiency as their opponents scored twice late on through Mehdi Benatia and Antonio Floro Flores.

Atlético, says the former Juventus playmaker, were guilty of making "mistakes we can't repeat" at the Estadio Vicente Calderón. "We have to be focused throughout the 90 minutes," added the 26-year-old. "It's not easy to score against an Italian team and we must take our chances."

Nonetheless, Diego and Co are still handily placed in Group I. They are two points clear of Celtic FC and Stade Rennais FC and three behind leaders Udinese − and approach the fixture energised by a first win in eight, Sunday's 3-1 defeat of Real Zaragoza. They are, however, without José Antonio Reyes because of flu.

"Against Zaragoza we were united," said Diego, on loan at Atlético from VfL Wolfsburg. "Victories help us play with confidence and I'm sure our last win will help us tomorrow. I'm especially motivated by playing for Atletico and I have nothing to prove against Italian teams. We won't have many chances to score. Udinese are a very defensive squad and let you control the match, but when they attack they do it very well."

In contrast to Atlético, Udinese are a team in form. The Zebrette are second in Serie A and have lost just once in their last 12 games, yet quite easily could have come unstuck on matchday three. Their prospects of a repeat success have not been helped by the absence of their nine-goal top scorer, Antonio Di Natale, because of muscular problems.

"Atlético played well in Udine and maybe deserved something, but it was a very even match and we were luckier," conceded Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin. "We know we are in a tough group that could be a Champions League one. We must keep rotating players because for us it's very important to continue on the path we set out on at the beginning of the season."

Samir Handanovič, meanwhile, is anticipating a busy night trying to keep Diego et al at bay for a second time. "I'm worried about the whole team, especially their attacking side," said the Udinese goalkeeper. "I'm sure they're going to make me work a lot."

Last updated: 03/11/11 17.25CET

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