“Head, head strong,” Diego Pablo Simeone shouted to his players in the break established in the last quarter of an hour for hydration. Atlético lost due to Budimir’s goal and Madrid won in San Mamés. Cholo did not give a single tactical indication to face the comeback. A 15-minute mini-game, which Atlético played with the appropriate revolutions so as not to be confused. “We seek to play wider, to have shots from the front of the area and not to focus to center, because they have those centrals that were taking them out. Find Carrasco, Correa, Trippier, Llorente or Suárez in the area, but with an associated game, not with centers. They were the ways to be able to lock a team that defended very well ”.
From the clairvoyance and the vision and the technique of João Félix came the tie for Lodi. From the persistence of Carrasco in the overflow and in stepping on the area, Luis Suárez’s goal number 20 was born, which culminated in the penultimate Homeric episode of the rojiblancos. Simeone ran like a madman through the band while his players formed a happy pile on the body scattered on the grass of Suárez. Simeone kept his scorer until he scored 2-1. “I knew that it was a moment when it was not his turn to go out. He knew that with so much play close to their goal, with Dembélé and him, with João on one side and Carrasco on the other, something could appear. And appeared. To continue game by game, more than ever, with the illusion and joy of being able to be at this moment, which is very nice for everyone ”, continued Cholo. The 2,000 fans who gathered in the surroundings made the Uruguayan goal rumble as if they were inside the stadium. And they formed an aroused corridor for the idolized coach when he left the stadium in his car.
“I told the players in the water break that the first thing was to draw and that would lead us to victory. A great goal from Lodi with a great pass from João and then a goal from Suárez as an area striker. I stay with the team, that word can show everything we have been doing this season ”, explained an exultant Simeone. “We were only concerned with solving our game. We had a very good first half, with many occasions, controlling the game. The rival team tried to close down and prevent us from scoring, but we had quite a few chances with little force in the final phase of the game, ”lamented the Argentine coach. In the midst of the cascade of missed chances in the first half, El Cholo looked up to the sky imploring that the goal would not end up frustrating the aspirations of proclaiming himself champion of his team. “In the second half, the same until they scored us. I think the changes gave us freshness and ended up closing a game in which, when we attacked with less precision, we had more forcefulness with two goals. The work that we have been showing all season was reflected, being a team and taking it out in difficult moments, ”the Atlético coach stressed. About the episode lived, Simeone clung to passion: “It’s our life. Afterwards, it is a sport, one has to win and some will have to lose another ”.
Regarding the end of the championship that awaits Atlético in Valladolid, Simeone emphasized the need to design an adequate preparation: “I do not think negatively, but rather about working, about starting the week first looking to rest, find freshness, find the best preparation to face a final that will be in Valladolid, a rival that also needs his victory, and nothing else goes through my head than to prepare well for the week ”.
Exhausted, still excited by the goal that the League recovered for Atlético, Suárez analyzed the match. “I think we did not deserve to suffer as much as because we had one of the best first times of the season, we missed many times, I in this case. You have to get used to the fact that to win the League you have to suffer and this was another game, ”said the Uruguayan in the Movistar microphones.
Asked if such a level of suffering was expected in the rojiblanco team, Suárez admitted that he did not expect to reach this level. “Everyone tells you because of the Atlético de Madrid motto, but I didn’t think it was that much. But hey, the effort, the sacrifice that this team is making, with a lot of people working to achieve the objectives … Now let’s enjoy, be calm and prepare the week for the most important game of the season ”, Suárez settled. that he did not lose faith despite the chances he wasted before achieving his twentieth goal: “There are times when the striker is easier to lower his head, but I never identified with that part. I am happy and proud that if you fight, fight, do not lower your arms, you can achieve the goal “, he concluded.