We weren’t ourselves in first half but we stayed calm, postulates Diego Simeone

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Diego Simeone

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We weren’t ourselves in first half but we stayed calm, postulates Diego Simeone

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SportsCafe Desk

01/23/2022

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has praised his team after they won 3-2 despite being 2-0 down at half-time and has put it down to the fact that his team fought with pride. The Los Rojiblancos have struggled for form this season with them 13 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

After lifting the La Liga title at the end of the 2020/21 season, many expected Atletico Madrid to kick on and continue their title-winning ways by dominating the 2021/22 season. However, a change of management at Real Madrid and a slew of new arrivals for the Los Rojiblancos have turned the tide in favour of the Los Blancos with them currently sitting atop the La Liga table. Not only that, Atleti have struggled for form and sit 13 points behind their city rivals in fourth place.

It has seen Diego Simeone come under criticism for trying to change his ways and bring Atletico Madrid into the new era and things nearly took a turn for the worse. The Los Rojiblancos were 2-0 down at half-time against Valencia but somehow rallied in the second half and won the game 3-2, through two added-time goals. It saw Simeone praise his team and admit that it was a marvellous feeling, especially after that first-half performance.

"We weren't ourselves in the first half. We couldn't play the game we wanted. At half time, with desperation and anxiety at what was happening, we stayed calm. I said there are ways of losing. If we're going to lose, we have to lose with pride,” Simeone said, reported ESPN.

"What did I feel? That it's marvellous, this place I'm in. Whenever it feels like it might be going, I want to hold on even tighter. In the first half, my heart hurt."

Boos and jeers rang around the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium after Simeone replaced Joao Felix with defender Felipe but the result showed that it was the right move. The Argentine explained the move and revealed that they needed someone to help defend while Cunha and co tore Valencia apart on the counter-attack.

"I'm sure a lot of people didn't understand Felipe coming on for Joao. That's normal... but we needed Cunha in the box, and quick players at the back to deal with counter attacks. It was a fantastic second half. We were ourselves. Watching that second half, I felt: this is us," Simeone added.

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