Simeone and Guardiola toast Spain's new star
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
"Spanish football has another great talent," Josep Guardiola said of Saúl Ñíguez, whose goal earned victory for an Atlético Madrid side approaching their best according to Diego Simeone.
Article top media content
- Saúl Ñíguez scores majestic early goal as Atlético claim 1-0 semi-final first-leg win
- Josep Guardiola says Spanish football has a new star in Saúl
- Diego Simeone's side keep 14th clean sheet in 16 European home matches
- Bayern seven UEFA Champions League knockout games without win away from home
- Second leg is in Munich next Tuesday, with final in Milan on 28 May
Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
We put in a huge shift and maybe came close to our best tonight, like we did in the last round against Barcelona. We imposed our style of play and the first half was close to what we wanted from the game; the second period was closer to what Bayern had wanted.
Saúl is enjoying a brilliant spell at the moment: it fills you with joy to see everything that is happening for him. He deserves it all because of the work he does, the persistence he has shown, the motivation he has. And there's more to come: he has a lot he can improve upon.
Josep Guardiola, Bayern coach
We have to play at a different pace in the second leg. Their goal was brilliant, but it came from our mistake: we kept standing off him. I'm not happy with how we played. If we let them run and win fouls, it will be hard. It's not a good result.
We need to think about who we were playing, the team that Atlético are. We were unable to score. They have a very good goalkeeper, they defended very well, with many players back – it's not easy. Teams make very few chances against Atlético, and we created some.
I admire Saúl's quality. I have seen him before, he is a great player: Spanish football has another great talent. Now we will see on Saturday if we can win the Bundesliga, then we will look to Tuesday. I want to watch this game back, calmly this time.