Schmidt delight as Leverkusen pursue dream

Roger Schmidt was thrilled after Bayer 04 Leverkusen's first-leg win in pursuit of their "dream" of making the quarter-finals, yet Diego Simeone remains quietly confident.

Roger Schmidt and Son Heung-Min celebrate at full time
Roger Schmidt and Son Heung-Min celebrate at full time ©AFP/Getty Images

Roger Schmidt says Leverkusen merited the first-leg win after mature showing
It would be "a dream" for Werkself to make quarter-finals according to Bayer coach
Diego Simeone believes it could have been worse despite the defeat
• Atlético's coach remains positive ahead of return match in Madrid
The second leg is on 17 March, with the quarter-final draw three days later

Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
We are very satisfied. The team showed inside the first minute that they can handle this situation and stay in the competition. Atlético were a tough opponent but we wanted to keep this opportunity to qualify with a good result here.

We played very aggressively, with a lot of pressure. We played to a high level and we kept that level up until the end. It is important not to have conceded. In the end we showed a certain maturity and had a good rhythm. It has been a very good performance and we deserved the win.

You could tell how much we looked forward to playing in the Champions League today. We take this competition very seriously. It was a first step and it would be a dream if we could reach the quarter-finals. We defended well, were compact and always in a position to help each other. We also made good attacking transitions and were very direct going forward.

Çalhanoğlu: 'We can compete with anyone'
Çalhanoğlu: 'We can compete with anyone'

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
It was a strange game – neither side created too many chances. In the second half, things were even and we tried to use our weapons. I am going away reasonably content, because I had to use two substitutes in the first half. [Leverkusen] play as they do and they do it well; it is very similar to our style.

We each had a clear chance and they took theirs and we did not. It could have been a worse result. Now Leverkusen have the advantage. We had problems caused by the pressure applied by Leverkusen and we were not able to play our own game. But I am quite confident for the return match in Madrid.

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