MADRID, Nov 2 — Atletico Madrid may have knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League two seasons ago but coach Diego Simeone is not expecting either side to have that game in mind when they meet at Anfield in their Group B clash tomorrow.
Simeone’s side scored twice in extra time on Merseyside to seal a dramatic 4-2 aggregate win in that last-16 match against then European champions Liverpool.
But, after losing 3-2 to Jurgen Klopp’s men in Madrid in their group game in mid-October, Atletico will be determined to take something from the game as they sit second in the group on four points, level with Porto but five adrift of Liverpool.
“I understand that we are talking about two great teams with two great stadiums, it’s a big game but there is no rematch in soccer,” Simeone told a news conference today.
“That Anfield game it’s in the past, we won and moved on. Those things don’t go back. It will be a game that Atletico fans will remember but won’t be a factor in tomorrow’s game.”
Atleti will be without key players like French forward Antoine Griezmann, who is suspended for being sent off against Liverpool. Defender Stefan Savic is also suspended, while midfielders Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente are injured.
However, Simeone was confident his team would be able to put up a good fight.
“You can all stay calm, we will compete,” he said.
Simeone also dismissed any controversy surrounding his relationship with Klopp after the German coach complained that the Argentine did not shake hands with him after the last game.
“Managers deal with their emotions in different ways. In England maybe they see the handshake as a gesture of sportsmanship by gentlemen, but I don’t see it like that,” Simeone said.
“I don’t like being fake and I follow my feelings. I don’t know Klopp personally but he is a great coach.” — Reuters