Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has hailed the "fire and spirit" of his players after they fought back from 2-0 down to rescue a point against La Liga newcomers Girona at Estadi Montilivi on Saturday.
Los Rojiblancos found themselves two goals behind after just 25 minutes following a quickfire brace from Cristhian Stuani. And when Antoine Griezmann was sent off having been adjudged to have dived before showing dissent towards the referee in the second half, the visitors looked set to leave Catalonia with a defeat,
But goals from Angel Correa and Jose Maria Gimenez rescued a point for Atletico, before a superb injury time save from Jan Oblak. After the game, Simeone praised the mental strength of the team.
"I will stick to the positive side," the Argentine coach said, quoted by ESPN. "We had a bad first half, but a very good first half. At 2-0 down many people would have thought the game over, then even more with 10 players.
"The team have kept alive what we have had through these years with them. That fire, that spirit of never giving up, keeping going right until the end -- we got a result in the end which in the first half looked impossible.
"They were better than us in the first half. But we thought we needed to score, and that would naturally bring another. The entrance of Correa changed the game.
"We had chances, including the possible penalty against Griezmann. [Luciano] Vietto had a chance that he fired over. We were defending man to man with three at the back against their front three. It was what the game needed in that moment. It went very well."
Griezmann will miss at least one of Atletico's next games away at Las Palmas and Valencia, and asked what he said to the Frenchman after the game, Simeone replied: "I have not spoken with him."