Saul Bemoans Poor Atletico Madrid Performance on Emotional Return to Hometown

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Saul Níguez spoke of a ‘special and emotional’ game after returning with Atlético Madrid to face his hometown club, Elche, in the first leg of their Copa del Rey.

Saul, who has never actually played for Eibar, broke into the Atletico Madrid first team in 2012, after spending his early years at the both the Real and Atlético Madrid academies.

He did, however, speak on the disappointing result in the last 32 match, which finished as a rather bland 1-1 draw. 

The Atletico midfielder told Sport-English, "We lacked effectiveness in front of goal, which gives you the tranquillity to finish games off well. We are not scoring goals and in the end, we suffered."

Saul came on in the 58th minute after being presented with a plaque and an Elche shirt before the match.

Elche, who have fallen quickly since being relegated from La Liga for unpaid tax debts in 2015, were resilient and by the end were matching Atletico blow for blow.

"I can't leave content after the game, with the image of the team, I think we have to give more, we have to be self-critical. The team was not as good as we would have wanted, and we have to keep working to improve it."

Both teams created plenty of chances to score, with Atletico wasteful with a few one-on-one situations, and Luciano Vietto and Fernando Torres also having opportunities in front of goal.


Atletico coach Diego Simeone told ESPN he was not too worried about the setback.

"The goals will come," he said. "We need to keep insisting and remain patient."