Diego Simeone hailed a “complete” performance from Joao Felix after his double helped Atletico Madrid to a 3-2 Champions League win over Salzburg on Tuesday.
Simeone’s men bounced back in style from last week’s opening 4-0 defeat to Bayern Munich to register their first points in Group A.
They did so largely thanks to a wonderful display from 20-year-old Joao Felix, who made it 2-2 early in the second half before securing all three points five minutes from time with an improvised finish.
His two goals came from seven shots – four more than any other Atleti player – while he competed in a joint team-high of 20 duels, winning 65 per cent of them.
Simeone was delighted with his display and backed him to continue delivering on the big stage for Atleti.
“If he continues to show the commitment, speed, and decision making he did today then he will continue to grow,” he told reporters.
Atlético de Madrid.
That’s it. That’s the tweet.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) October 27, 2020
“Hopefully we can help him because with a great Joao Felix the team will be more competitive. It was possibly the most complete performance due to the importance of the game, but he has played many good ones.”
Before Joao Felix’s late heroics, Atleti had gone ahead thanks to Marcos Llorente’s powerful drive shortly before the half-hour mark.
It was the former Real Madrid man’s third goal of the season – just two fewer than he managed in the entirety of the 2019/20 campaign.
Asked if the 25-year-old could be suited to a more advanced position, Simeone responded: “We are looking for a way to bring together those players who are playing well and who can provide what the team needs. Llorente is one of them.
“He’s feeling better offensively, but you have to remember that he came as a midfielder. I could try it in the future because he has the energy, strength, work rate and shooting ability.”
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