Win 'special' but it means nothing, insist Atletico.
Byline: IAN DOYLE Chief LFC Writer
ATLETICO Madrid believe their Champions League win against Liverpool "means nothing" as their players pointed to the ghosts of Barcelona and Juventus.
The Spaniards earned a 1-0 win in the first leg of the round of 16 tie against the European and world champions at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday.
Atletico beat Juventus 2-0 at the same stage of last season's Champions League only to be eliminated after losing the second game 3-0 in Italy.
And while proud of the performance from Diego Simeone's side, Atletico skipper Koke is wary of a repeat of 12 months ago when they travel to Anfield for the return leg on March 11.
"Nobody bet a penny on us, but that's the way we are: in the difficult moments, the team steps up, with the help of our fans," said the midfielder.
"From seven, they were already here and when we arrived the reception was spectacular. It was like years ago at the Calderon.
"They're (Liverpool) a spectacular team, European champions, practically league winners (already), so this is a game to be proud of. We gave everything.
"It's not done, for sure. We have the experience last year which wasn't positive and hopefully that will serve as a lesson to us. We can see what we did well and hopefully this year we can go through."
Atletico centre-back Stefan Savic, formerly of Manchester City, believes Liverpool's victory against Barcelona in the semi-final last season - when they overturned a 3-0 first-leg defeat by winning 4-0 at Anfield - is a further reminder of the possible pitfalls that await the La Liga side.
"This was a great game against a great opponent," he said. "We all know what form Liverpool are in this year, so we're very happy. We have a lot of experience of previous years: we saw Liverpool lose 3-0 at Barcelona last year and turn it around, so we know this result means nothing. We still have Anfield and we know it will be very difficult. In football anything can happen. One day they can say you're the worst team, the team that you're extraordinary like on Tuesday. We have to keep our feet on the floor."
Saul Niguez revealed he contemplated performing a tribute to former Atletico and Liverpool forward Fernando Torres after scoring the only goal in the fourth minute.
"I was going to do the archer celebration for Torres, who was in the stadium, then I dedicated it to my girlfriend, there were loads of things (in my mind)," he said. "I don't even know what I did and whatever I did it was what I felt in that moment.
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|Author:||IAN DOYLE Chief LFC Writer|
|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Feb 20, 2020|
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