By 90Min
April 27, 2018

Diego Simeone revealed he has "goosebumps" thinking about the atmosphere that will greet Atletico Madrid when they welcome Arsenal to Wanda Metropolitano next week for the return leg of their Europa League semi-final clash following the 1-1 draw in north London on Thursday

Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring for the Gunners, who were very much the superior side after Sime Vrsaljko's early red card, but a late Laurent Koscielny defensive error gifted Antoine Griezmann the opportunity to snatch an all-important away goal for the Spanish capital outfit. 

And looking ahead to the highly anticipated contest after the full-time whistle at the Emirates Stadium, the Argentine admitted to Marca he is relishing what should be an awe-inspiring night at Rojiblancos' new home. 

"These players are fierce; they are heroes, it is tremendous," Simeone said. "The Atletico fan knows it; the stadium must burst, it must explode to accompany the passion of these kids. 

"We can play badly or well, but it is incredible. It gives me goosebumps thinking about next Thursday."

The Atleti boss, similarly to defender Vrsaljko, was dismissed by French official Clement Turpin in the opening stages of the contest, with the 47-year-old forced to watch on from on high as his side attempted to leave north London still in the contest.


However, unlike his over emotional reaction on the sidelines, Simone admitted post-match he accepted the referee's decision and was proud of how his players reacted in the face of adversity as well as offered a warning to Arsenal ahead of next week's showdown. 

"Difficult to comment," the Madrid boss stated when asked about the official's decision. "You saw the images. The referee decided the expulsion. He decided that I should leave the field. I am very respectful. 

"The referee understood what he understood, and we survived the Europa League. 

"Surviving in the Europa League would be the best way to describe it," Simeone told Goal"I remember a game in Barcelona when Filipe [Luis] was sent off after 13 minutes, or another Champions League game when Torres was sent off.

(You may also like: 4 Things We Learned in Arsenal's 1-1 Europa League Semi-Final 1st Leg Draw with Atletico Madrid)


"The team has done fantastic work for a number of years. In a stadium like this, the attacking football Arsenal played, the team had to keep going every minute. That's the most beautiful thing about football.

"It's really hard to play away at Arsenal - an extraordinary stadium, a spectacular coach in the opposite dugout - with 10 men. These Atletico players, the way they played and put up with the pressure was tremendous. The fans brought a positive energy to accompany our passion.


"You guys have no idea how difficult it is to defend. Football is about playing and playing is the fun part, but you've got to have balls to defend with 10 men for 80 minutes.

"If you play normally you have more possibility [to score], but defending like that shows real character - it's a message for those who come along with us."

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