Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone was pleased with how his trio of forwards performed against Lokomotiv Moscow after Joao Felix stole the show in a 2-0 Champions League win in Russia.
Joao Felix started in the same team as Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata as Simeone opted for an attacking line-up for his team’s second fixture in Group D on Tuesday.
Atletico endured a frustrating first half as they failed to make their dominance tell, though Joao Felix found a way through Lokomotiv’s stubborn defence three minutes after the break when he converted a rebound.
The 19-year-old’s goal saw him become the Spanish club’s youngest scorer in the competition – and he was also involved in Atletico’s second, scored by midfielder Thomas Partey.
Simeone praised the combination play between Joao Felix, Costa and Morata, though made clear they also have to work cohesively when their team do not have the ball.
“The three of them worked really well. The important thing is how they work in a defensive sense because we need balance in the side,” Simeone told reporters.
“We all know how potent they are in an attacking sense but we always need to maintain our structure.”
1 – Thomas Partey has attempted 80 passes against Lokomotic Moscow (74), more than in any other Champions League game. Titan. pic.twitter.com/NbGkdK6l8z
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 1, 2019
On the game itself, Simeone felt the key to success was finding a cutting edge in the final third, something they had lacked in the opening 45 minutes.
“Lokomotiv Moscow defend very well. We had good chances in the first half that the keeper did well to save,” he said. “We were clinical in the second half and managed to score twice early on.”
Joao Felix’s 48th-minute strike was his first in the Champions League, putting Atleti on course for victory on the road following a 2-2 home draw with Juventus in their opening game in this season’s competition.
“I’m delighted to score my first Champions League goal,” the 19-year-old said, according to UEFA.com. “It was a great game, and the important thing was that we came away with the three points.”
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