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Mitroglou: Olympiacos rewarded for hard work

Scorers Kostas Mitroglou and Arthur Masuaku said hard work in training paid off as Olympiacos FC defeated last season's runners-up Club Atlético de Madrid 3-2.

Olympiacos produced a superb display
Olympiacos produced a superb display ©AFP/Getty Images

Olympiacos's Kostas Mitroglou glories in beating Atlético and ending his wait for a goal
Fellow scorer Arthur Masuaku speaks of the chemisty among the revamped squad
Coach Míchel says: "We forced Atlético out of their comfort zone"
Koke admits last season's runners-up "made some errors"

Kostas Mitroglou, Olympiacos forward
It was a very hard-fought victory. They are a very good team, both defensively and in attack, they won the Spanish league last season, went all the way to the [UEFA Champions League] final, they won the Spanish Super Cup, a few days ago they defeated Real Madrid again ...

They were a tough side to play against, we respected them but didn't fear them. We are strong on our home ground. Our coach prepared us for them, we followed his instructions on the pitch and that's why we won.

I know what I can do. I had a hard time with an injury that kept me sidelined for a while. Thank God I am fit now and I don't worry if I will score or not. I know that goals will come. They did tonight.

Our plans remain the same. We go from match to match. We wanted this win tonight, as we do in all our home matches with the fans on our side. Our next aim is to win at Malmö, a very tough encounter. However, we just need to follow our coach’s instructions and do what we did today.

Arthur Masuaku, Olympiacos defender
There are many new players in our squad, but we already have good chemistry between us. It helps us keep our lines close, be compact, play good football and carve out chances to score. If we manage to keep our quality at a high level, as we did tonight, we have nothing to fear. We played to the maximum and it showed. We respected but didn't fear Atlético. We are aware that this is a great victory.

We worked a lot on the set pieces like the one I scored from. Usually in training I don't shoot. But today I decided otherwise.

Giannis Maniatis, Olympiacos defender
This is a massive result for us. We really worked hard during the match and were focused throughout. Atlético are a big side and the fact that we beat them fills us with confidence. We hope to continue in this manner. We got the three points and we are improving with each game. It will be a great success if we manage to get through the group and qualify for the next phase.

Míchel, Olympiacos coach
We forced Atlético out of their comfort zone, which is what they usually do to their opponents. We played like a team, like [Diego] Simeone's side does. All of my players understood what they had to do. We are very happy. We tried to spoil their game and we succeeded. Atletico haven't conceded three goals [in a game] in a very long time.

Kostas Mitroglou celebrates
Kostas Mitroglou celebrates©AFP/Getty Images

It's a first step for us and we have a long struggle ahead. We are happy about tonight, but that's where it ends. It was a group effort. Atlético never give up and they showed that tonight as they pressurised us even though they were 3-1 down. [Arthur] Masuaku is a youngster who wants to learn, while Kostas Mitroglou never left this team. We still have many things to do in order to qualify.

My young son was the first to call me tonight from Madrid. Then my older son called. They know how important this match was for me. It was a very important win for us, but we have to forget it now and look ahead. And we have to keep improving.

All coaches study their opponents closely, but today my players worked incredibly hard. We have got the win and we are delighted. We played a bit like Atlético usually do and we took them by surprise. It worked out very well for us and we got our tactics spot on. You don't achieve things like we achieved tonight every day. Getting into the last 16 again would be great news for us – it would even better than when we did it last season.

We have three points more than at this stage last year. It has been a magnificent night for me and for Olympiacos, we are really happy. This is a very notable victory because Atlético are not going to lose many matches. They are a great team, a team with a lot of character.

Mario Mandžukić reacts
Mario Mandžukić reacts©AFP/Getty Images

Koke, Atlético midfielder
We made some errors. They were very focused and capitalised on our mistakes. We have to keep working hard and think about our next game, at home to Juventus, who are our biggest rivals in the group.

We knew that they were going to put us under a lot of pressure with their fans behind them. They scored very early on and it's always difficult when you go 2-0 down. We knew that this was a difficult group, and the fans here really get on top of you. The game against Juventus is going to be very important, we have to keep working hard.

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
We posed a threat throughout, but Olympiacos were very tough indeed. What made the difference was that they were more clinical with the chances that came their way. There is no doubt this was a very negative result for us and Olympiacos are now in a very good position. We feel we have a responsibility to bounce back.

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