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Cocu left amazed by Atletico team display

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 24 Nov 2016

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PSV boss Phillip Cocu described Atletico Madrid as a prime example of how a team should play following his side’s Champions League defeat at the Vicente Calderon.

Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro scored the goals as Diego Simeone’s side responded to their derby humbling by Real Madrid at the weekend to secure top spot in Group D.

Cocu admits he was caught cold by Atletico’s set-up but felt there was little that could have been done to stop their clinical finishing, while he highlighted a last-ditch tackle from Griezmann deep in his own half as proof of Atleti’s impressive battling qualities.

“We were expecting Nicolas Gaitan to play on the wing, but he didn’t play,” he told a media conference. “They set up in a different way.

“They played their style, pressed high and that’s what they do. They scored twice in transition after we gave the ball away and that’s this side’s quality. They’re a great example of how a side function. When [Gaston] Pereiro had a one-on-one it was Griezmann making the tackle – that says it all for me about what a team they are.”

PSV’s defeat, coupled with Rostov’s shock 3-2 win over Bayern, means that only a victory against the Russians on matchday six will see Cocu’s side seal a place in the Europa League.

“We need to fight in the final game at home against Rostov. If we win the game, we know we’ll stay in Europe. That’s our objective,” he said. 

“I saw some good things and it was our errors that cost us. That’s the difference at this level against a big team like Atletico, and now we will fight against Rostov to make it into the Europa League.”

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