Atlético Madrid played out an intense 0-0 draw with Valencia at Mestalla on Saturday afternoon. It was a game with few clear-cut chances, as both sides canceled the other out in a defensive duel upon the return from international break.
After it was over and done, Diego Simeone, Filipe Luís and Stefan Savić discussed a difficult game and a result that will probably look pretty good in a few months.
On his second half substitutions: “We looked for variety...[we wanted] very quick and fast players [Correa, Vietto, Carrasco] to challenge tall players like Gabriel Paulista and [Ezequiel] Garay...we chose to change a little in the second half when playing with Torres, Gameiro and Gaitán, and Koke changed sides to see if we could force a mistake from them [Valencia]. There were a couple counterattacks that we could not finish off and that led to the draw.
For me, Yannick [Carrasco] could have been decisive in this match. I don’t think [he played] the game we needed.”
On Thomas Partey: “He is a player who is growing, who has enthusiasm and ambition. I hope he continues to improve.”
On Atlético’s first three games: “The first half in Girona was the worst [we played], the second half was good, the match at Las Palmas was good and today was very good. We lacked the goal, but on the whole, the team showed important things.”
On the justness of a draw: “Valencia are a great team. They have regained their strength and have a great coach. I think the draw is fair.
“We played well. We generated chances but could not find the goal. The team is getting better.”
On the impending return of the Champions League: “We have matches every Tuesday and Sunday and that can make us improve our play. Now we recover players like [Antoine] Griezmann who can raise our level of play.”
On Atlético’s defensive effort: “We played well, they [Valencia] did not have chances and that’s important.”
On AS Roma, Atleti’s next opponent: “I can say that Roma is a very important team [in Italy]. We will have a very difficult game because they are a very offensive team, we will have to work hard to get three points.