Atletico Madrid v AC Milan: Mario Balotelli and Milan's attacking nature can be exploited, says Diego Simeone
The Spanish side lead 1-0 from the first leg
Tuesday 11 March 2014
Controlling the midfield will be crucial if Atletico Madrid are to protect their 1-0 advantage tonight at home to Milan, coach Diego Simeone said yesterday.
Seeking a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1997, when Simeone was an Atletico player, Madrid’s second club lead the seven-times European champions thanks to Diego Costa’s header seven minutes from time, in last month’s first leg at the San Siro. Simeone said yesterday, before the return at the Calderon, that Milan would be forced to go on the attack as they try to avoid a trio of exits in Spain following defeats to Barcelona in the last eight in 2011-12 and the last 16 last season.
“We have to contain and control the game,” Simeone, who had playing stints with Milan’s city rivals Internazionale and fellow Serie A side Lazio, said. “The clash will depend on the intensity we produce in the midfield.
“An open game will better suit Milan. They are an attacking team given the characteristics of their players. We need to make the most of the space they give us.”
Simeone said he expected a tough test for his players even though Milan are struggling in their domestic league. Clarence Seedorf was brought in to replace the sacked Massimiliano Allegri as coach in January but the former Milan, Real Madrid and Netherlands midfielder has yet to revive the club’s fortunes and they remain stalled in mid-table.
“It is a very powerful institution,” said Simeone, who was well acquainted with Seedorf, six years his junior, from their shared time in Italy and Spain as players.
“They are used to this competition and they have players with a lot of talent. I expect the best version of Milan. It will be a difficult game because there is a lot at stake. And that is when the great players step up irrespective of their current situation.”
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather next opponent: Mayweather more likely to pick a former foe than a fresh contender like Amir Khan in Las Vegas lottery
Manchester United transfer news: Adnan Januzaj to be offered in deal for Memphis Depay
Jose Mourinho: 'The dogs bark and the caravan goes by,' Chelsea manager gives cryptic assessment after Blues win title
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils