UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Simeone delight as Atlético complete recovery

Diego Simeone paid tribute to the way his Club Atlético de Madrid side have bounced back from their opening-day defeat as a fourth successive win sealed progress.

Atlético celebrate after Mario Mandžukić made it 3-0
Atlético celebrate after Mario Mandžukić made it 3-0 ©Getty Images

Diego Simeone salutes his players for the way they have bounced back
Mario Mandžukić scores hat-trick as Atlético ease through
Éric Abidal admits Atleti's tactics surprised Olympiacos
UEFA Champions League debutant José María Giménez on "dream come true"
Next games: Olympiacos v Malmö, Juventus v Atlético (9 December)

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach 
We have produced some good performances recently. Tonight we had continuity in our game and we were focused on the areas where we could hurt them. Intensity is the key for this team. After a tough beginning [with the defeat at Olympiacos] it has been a great effort from my players to take us to the next round.

That affirms the work of this squad and how the team have been reinvented with ten new players to keep on being competitive. There are many games to play and the most important thing is the quality of the minutes every player plays. Many players are in good shape and it's not easy to be in the starting lineup.

Mario Mandžukić, Atlético forward 
It's a wonderful feeling to score a hat-trick, but the most important thing is that we won and secured our place in the round of 16. In the knockout stages it's always 50-50 but we're showing that we are a really good team, so you never know. We're able to beat anyone. We're enjoying ourselves and winning – that's the most important thing.

José María Giménez, Atlético defender 
We're really happy with what we've done, how we fought and how we played throughout the match. We were always superior, and we're delighted that we've made it through to the round of 16. Now we're thinking about the game this weekend and we have to continue as we have been doing. Playing with Diego Godín is a dream come true. Hopefully I can keep my place.

Raúl García, Atlético midfielder 
After losing in Greece we knew we couldn't afford any more slip-ups – no doubt that helped us. It's always great to play and score, but the most important thing is that the side won and the boys are all very happy. We're going to go to Turin [to play Juventus] with the objective of winning and sealing first place. Everything we've done up to now has been working towards that.

Mario Mandžukić after completing his hat-trick
Mario Mandžukić after completing his hat-trick©Getty Images

Éric Abidal, Olympiacos defender 
Atlético didn't create their own chances – we gave them to them on a plate. They went into the game a little bit differently, and it wasn't a tactic we were expecting. It caused us problems and we weren't at our best. At home they're very strong, and we wanted to play the same way as the first meeting, which probably wasn't the right mentality. We need to quickly forget about this evening and move on and think about something else.

Míchel, Olympiacos coach
I'm not going to single out one player and it would be unfair to pick out Roberto because he is giving us a lot but it's true that the first goal was the beginning of the end. This result shows you how important what we have done so far in the competition has been.

I feel bad because tonight we couldn't compete like we did in previous matches. Atlético and Juventus have done their jobs. Let's do our job thinking that the UEFA Europa League is not a bad competition for us. There is a difference between some European teams and us.

It's not because we did some things wrong, it's because our opponents did many things well. We have to accept that. Even when we do things well we still might not win, as happened against Juventus. We are at a different level. Atlético and Juventus are going into the next round.

Selected for you