A lone Renan Lodi goal was enough to seal Atlético Madrid’s passage into the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday night at Old Trafford. A 1-1 draw from the first leg left the second leg on a knife’s edge, but a headed effort from the much-improved Lodi was enough to get the job done for Diego Simeone’s side against Manchester United.
“We deserved to go through. In the first game, we deserved to win,” captain Koke said.
“Jan Oblak is the best keeper in the world he showed it tonight. He was the man of the match and he made two or three saves. It’s an honour to have him in the team and I hope he spends many years with us.”
Rodrigo de Paul continued his fine form and says Atlético fans can absolutely dream about winning the Champions League.
“I’m very happy, it wasn’t easy,” he said. “We came to a ground that has a lot of history against one of the biggest teams in the world. We know when to defend, to attack and to suffer. We played a very complete game.
“The fans helped us a lot,” he continued. “There are lots of squads that collapse in the difficult moments. This team does the opposite. We want to keep going like this.
“I was going to say ‘game by game’ to you,” de Paul said when asked how far Atlético can go in the competition. “The dreams are the things that drives everyone inside. Why would we not let the fans who dreams of that?! Every day we put on this shirt we are going to leave our lives on the field.”
“Football is all about runs,” Koke said about Atlético’s recent good form. “It cost us to tweak things. There’s a lot of time left in this season. In the end, it’s hard to explain. Sometimes things don’t work out regardless of the system you play, but little by little it feels like we are getting some consistency.”