Atletico coach Simeone bullish after Champions League defeat

Indo Asian News Service

Madrid, May 3 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone refused to accept defeat following the 0-3 Champions League semi-final first leg defeat away to Real Madrid which left his side's chances of reaching a second successive final in tatters.

Portugese forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick on Tuesday to give Real Madrid a foot in the final and to leave Atletico with a seemingly impossible task as they look to overturn the deficit in front of their fans next week, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, despite the size of the task and the fact his side failed to muster a shot on target on Tuesday night, Simeone was in a bullish mood.

"We call ourselves Atletico Madrid and we are able to do it," he said in declarations reproduced in the Spanish press on Wednesday morning.

"I have a feeling of calmness, more than ever I am calm and now we are going to try and do something impossible," he said, preparing the ground for what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere for Real as the Vicente Calderon Stadium hosts the last European game in its history next Wednesday night.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane also insisted there was still work to do in the return leg.

"We had a great performance and we scored three goals as well as keeping a clean sheet, so we can be happy because the side played really well and I am proud of them all," he said, before sounding a word of caution.

"There is still the return leg to play and until the referee blows the final whistle anything can happen," said the Real Madrid boss, who nevertheless knows that an away goal would leave Atletico needing 5 goals to qualify.

--IANS

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