Though still wary of FC Barcelona after Tuesday's 1-1 draw, the Club Atlético de Madrid players could feel affirmed in their ambitions having given a "complete performance".
Article top media content
The sense of contentment emanating from the Club Atlético de Madrid squad as they left the Camp Nou was palpable. And the words which immediately sprang to their minds as they were asked over and again for their reactions to scoring and drawing at FC Barcelona were: "A complete performance."
Pressing high, making their normally assured opponents uncomfortable in possession around their own penalty area and then producing one of the goals of the season – Diego's second-half rocket – Atletico duly met the majority of Diego Simeone's objectives. After four straight draws with Barcelona this season, however, none of the Rojiblancos players are taking progression to the UEFA Champions League semi-final as a given – but they do regard Tuesday's 1-1 draw as a major step forward.
Gabi, Atlético midfielder
We gave a really complete performance here. Barcelona are a great football side and we knew it was going to be a big test. Now we can be really content at this result. The next match remains a complicated one but obviously we can have high hopes of winning it. This is a team full of ambition to achieve great things and I know we'll approach the next leg with the same attitude. A key will be taking every chance we create or they allow us. From a personal point of view this was probably the biggest match I've played at the Camp Nou given what's at stake – this is the greatest club competition. Now we are accustomed to playing this type of match. We are among the best teams and with each match there's less distance between us and the final.
Diego Godín, Atlético defender
Taking into account that we were the away team, playing in a stadium where it's so difficult to get anything, we have to be very satisfied with this result – particularly having scored the away goal. It leaves the tie totally open and while there are still 90 minutes to play we are pleased with this. We lost Diego Costa, an important player for us, quite early and you always feel for a colleague who goes through that. But we already knew that this group of players is capable of facing up to a challenge like that and we proved it tonight. I don't think we really suffered much in this game. We put in a monumental effort, each of us, and I'd say we did exactly what we had to do all through the match. This was a very complete performance.