Atlético comfortably beat Lazio in the Europa League and qualified for the Round of 16 in the Europa League.
The Rojiblancos had won the first leg at the Stadio Olímpico 3-1 and beat the Italians a second time on Thursday night with a goal by Diego Godín.
The result from the match in Rome allowed Simeone to rest Filipe, Tiago, Arda and Falcao. Captains Luis Perea and Álvaro Domínguez returned to the side in a defence that was formed by four centre backs.
Despite a ton of injuries and the earlier result, Lazio fans had travelled to Madrid en masse and provided a great atmosphere at the Vicente Calderón.
In the opening period of the game Eduardo Salvio was our most active player. The criticised Argentine seemed out to prove a point, but was unfortunate to hit the woodwork early on.
Another highlight in an otherwise dull first half was the beautiful control and half-volley by Adrián, who saw his shot stopped by Bizarri.
After the break Atleti quickly scored and decided the encounter. A corner taken by Gabi was accurately headed in off the post by Diego Godín, who scored his second goal this season.
Koke almost doubled our lead when we again won a corner, but his powerful strike was saved spectacularly by Lazio’s goalkeeper. Adrián then headed wide from the exact position Godín had been in earlier, from another set piece taken by Gabi.
Atleti were energetic in the second half and came close to scoring when Adrián found Salvio, but Toto’s shot was kept out by Bizarri.
With the tie decided, Simeone decided to take off Juanfran, Miranda and the outstanding Adrián. One of the players coming on was Sílvio, who hadn’t featured since our win over Levante more than three months ago.
Lazio were never really in it and Atleti were able to save some energy for our upcoming clash with Barcelona.
Our next opponent in the Europa League will be Simão’s Besiktas, who lost against Braga at home but advance with a 2-1 score on aggregate.
Line-up: Courtois; Perea, Miranda (“71 Sílvio), Godín, Domínguez; Juanfran (“58 Arda), Gabi, Assunção, Koke; Salvio and Adrián (“61 Falcao).
Goals: 1-0 Godín (“47)