Diego Simeone has said his team were arm wrestling with destiny after a 1-1 Champions League Group C draw at home to Qarabag left the 2014 and 2016 finalists looking highly unlikely to make the last 16 this season.
“All explanations, after this result, are excuses,” Simeone told the postmatch news conference. “We did not start badly, had some chances but could not take them. Then we got anxious, nervous, at end of the first half. We played as we needed to in second half, I have the feeling team did everything they could do.
“Their goalkeeper had a great game, Qarabag defended very well. Clearly the result is not what we were looking for, and we are in this arm-wrestle with the goal. We must keep insisting to overcome this situation.”
“When Roma come here we will try and win our game,” Simeone said when asked about the consequences. “You get what you deserve. We will know after the Roma game if we can continue, or are out already.”
“In many games recently we have conceded when the rival had just a few chances,” Simeone said. “By contrast we have been looking to score, to win the game.
“The second half today the team did enough to win, but fortune has not favoured us. I am the most responsible for what happens with this team. We must try and win this arm wrestle with destiny, which at the moment is not going our way.”
“I respect opinions of everyone, the players especially, as they are the ones who know what happens in the game,” he said. “We always play in the same way. We have won 30 or 40 games like this in my six years here.
“When you score the goal you need, people talk about your strength, your courage. When you don’t find that goal, people have a different opinion.”
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