Atlético Madrid‘s latest draw is arguably its most disappointing yet. Diego Simeone chose to rest most of his regular starters in the Copa del Rey Round of 32 first leg against third-division Elche, but Atlético could only draw 1-1. Academy kids Sergi and Toni Moya made their official debuts for Atleti, while Thomas scored and Saúl returned to his native Elche. Saúl explained this emotional moment after the match, while Simeone spoke about the tough draw.
On playing his hometown team:
“It was a special and emotional match for me. It’s a day I’ll never forget, since I came to my hometown with the team which has given me everything, Atlético de Madrid.”
On his team’s lack of goals:
“It [the lack of goals] makes us anxious. Our opponents see us fail [in front of goal] and elevate their game.”
On staying positive in the dressing room:
“The atmosphere outside is all negativity. Luckily, the team is united and isolated from all that.”
His view on the match:
“The game left me with a good feeling. We worked very hard in the first half and we had lots of chances, dynamism and intensity in attack. Elche started the second half well and earned a penalty.
“In our stadium, we have to keep working and keep inviting the forwards to shoot. [Luciano] Vietto did not look sharp, but the performance was good. You have to be patient so that our confidence appears and the goal comes naturally.”
On Sergi and Toni Moya debuts:
“Sergi played well and Toni Moya played calmly, even though the match was anything but calm because of the result. He played with personality and we value that.”