Diego Simeone thinks Atletico ‘played one of the best games’ in Brugge draw

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Atletico Madrid’s Champions League hopes took a hit due to a 0-0 draw with Club Brugge, but Diego Simeone was happy with their display.

Diego Simeone insisted Atletico Madrid had produced one of their best displays this season in Wednesday’s goalless UEFA Champions League draw with Club Brugge.

Atleti had 21 shots to Brugge’s five as they dominated at the Civitas Metropolitano, but their poor European form continued as they failed to break through.

The result secured Brugge progress to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history, but Atlético’s chances of making it are in doubt, having picked up just four points from four games in Group B.

Atleti have now failed to score in five of their last six UEFA Champions League games, including each of their last three, but Simeone refused to criticize their performance.

“We had important situations, well created, we played one of the best games of the season, given our rhythm, intensity and opponent,” said Simeone. “Many good things were seen, but the goal did not come.

“Morat’s chance is the one that sticks in our minds, but the goalkeepers are here to stop and the players are here to be emphatic or not.”

“We did very well this round, better than the first game against them. Honestly, I’m keeping a lot of good things.”

However, with Atletico wrapping up their Group B campaign with tough tests against Porto and Bayer Leverkusen, Simeone is under no illusions about what is needed now.

“The classification was complicated and we are in a place where the only good thing is that we have to win both games,” he added.

Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was the star of the show on Wednesday, denying Atleti on nine occasions.

The former Liverpool striker has now made 14 saves in two UEFA Champions League games against Atleti this season – the most he has made against a single opponent without conceding in a single campaign since records began (in 2003-04).

Speaking to Club RTL after the match, Mignolet said helping Brugge to the knockout stages was one of the highlights of his career, saying: “I’ve done a lot of things before, but it was an incredible feeling with the team. The first in the club’s history. It’s great moment.

“We needed everything to keep a clean sheet today. I had a good game, I was able to save, but it was just necessary to keep a clean sheet.”

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