After a cagey first half at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium last night, with Cristiano Ronaldo coming closest to scoring, but Jan Oblak saved the forward’s long-range free-kick and the scoreline remained goalless heading into half-time.
The tie sprung into life after the break, though, as Atletico had a penalty denied and Alvaro Morata’s goal was disallowed in the space of a few minutes before Jose Gimenez managed to break the deadlock. Gimenez slammed the ball past Wojciech Szczesny to send Atleti’s home support into raptures, but it was all about Simeone’s X-rated reaction to the goal.
The Argentine, who has twice managed Atletico to runners-up finishes in the competition, grabbed his crotch while looking into the crowd and screaming. Asked about his bizarre celebration, Simeone explained.
‘I did it as a player in Lazio-Bologna and I did it again to show our fans that we have cojones. ‘It wasn’t aimed at the other team; I was turning towards our own supporters.
It’s not a nice gesture, I admit, but I felt the need to do it. It was such a tough game, we fought so hard and Diego Costa worked really hard when he wasn’t 100 per cent fit. I had to show what I was feeling. ‘I can only apologize if anyone was offended, but I did it from the heart.’