Diego Simeone has insisted that Atletico Madrid were inspired to victory against Villarreal on Sunday after Los Colchoneros supporters performed chants that alluded to the Argentinean manager's previous 'exuberant' celebration against Juventus.
Atletico came through a difficult game with all three points thanks to a first goal for Chelsea loanee Alvaro Morata and a late strike from Saul Niguez, helping them to close the gap to Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
“The team really responded to that gesture,” Simeone declared, as per AS.
“The three games this week were difficult and even more so with the added emotion from Wednesday. At the start of the match they had a chance that Oblak dealt with as he tends to do. Then we found our lines and Morata managed to score."
Morata has impressed since joining Atletico from Chelsea in the January transfer window, but his time in Madrid had been fraught with bad luck as he has already had two goals chalked off in previous matches following VAR reviews.
Simeone was thrilled that the Spaniard was finally able to get off the mark, but he admitted that he and his coaching staff were a little hesitant to celebrate prematurely.
He added: "We were happy about that [Morata's goal]. We didn’t know whether to bother celebrating or not though, as the other two he scored [against Real Madrid and Juventus] were ruled out even though they were valid.”