A unique Wanda Metropolitano atmosphere inspired the Spanish side to take down last year’s winners, according to their coach
Supporters lined the streets outside the stadium, lit flares and chanted at great volume as the European and world champions’ bus arrived for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.
Atleti had won just once in seven matches in all competitions heading into the game but Simeone’s side upset the odds, scoring early through Saul Niguez and holding on for a 1-0 lead to take to Anfield.
It was a match that saw Liverpool control possession for large stretched with Simeone regularly motioning to the crowd to get the Atletico supporters involved in the action.
And Simeone says that the fans played a massive part in the team’s result, starting from the pregame reception.
“We started winning on the roundabout next to the stadium,” Simeone told Movistar. “In eight years, I’ve never seen a reception like that.”
No. Words. needed.
Thank you, Atleti Family
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) February 18, 2020
He added in his press conference: “[The atmosphere] was exciting, it makes you want to play. The team responded with great effort, as they did in Valencia.
“It was not [the best night] because we didn’t get a title, but there are nights you don’t forget and this was one of them.
“The best team in the world comes after a lot of wins and you beat them.”
Simeone had talked up the Wanda atmosphere prior to the match as he recognised the need to get a result before travelling to Anfield, where Liverpool have not lost in any competition since September 2018.
The Atletico boss’ counterpart, Jurgen Klopp, alluded to that fact by saying “Welcome to Anfield, it is not over yet”.
Anticipating a similar mood on Merseyside, the Atleti boss expects a tricky encounter when Atletico Madrid head to Liverpool on March 11 for the second leg of their Champions League encounter.
“We’re going to play with a lot of humility, because they are accustomed to playing massive games in their stadium,” he said.