Simeone’s men edged out the Premier League champions 1-0 thanks to a Saul Niguez goal in the opening five minutes before some lengthy and impressive rearguard action. Liverpool would finish the game with 73 per cent possession but not a single shot on target as the Spaniards allowed them to have the ball but stifled their creativity. The Argentine was on cheerleading duties throughout the match, bouncing about in and around his technical area and helping create a fantastic atmosphere in the Wanda Metropolitano.
The manager says the fans were a huge part of the memorable win, and they were making an impact before the players even took to the pitch. ‘I think we started winning the game when our bus turned at the roundabout and we saw the reaction of the people. It enthused us. Something beautiful woke up in us,’ said the emotional Simeone. ‘The feeling that came out of the people, the reply of the people, I’ve rarely seen from our fans at this level. They were there the whole game. It made me want to put my boots on and go on the pitch.
‘It was the whole match and the truth is it was exciting… I think the word that comes to me is calm. ‘Calm of knowing when you work as a team as group you can do it, the team responded with a great effort. ‘It’s not the best night because we’ve not won anything but it was exciting. It was unusual.
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