Following Atlético’s match at Aris last night, manager Quique Sánchez Flores expressed his thoughts about the team’s defeat in their Europa League opener.
“The environment is not an excuse. We’ve played in far worse conditions and have succeeded. We were very imprecise in the first half and weren’t able to complete more than two straight passes.
“We didn’t feel threatened at any point and yet, we conceded the goal when the team was most settled,” said the coach.
“We leave with the feeling that we could have avoided the loss, ” he continued.
“Aris can qualify to the next round; every team has a chance. There’s no reason to dismiss any of them. This match is a clear example that there will be no easy encounters in this group,” said Sánchez Flores.
Long-time rojiblanco and team captain Antonio López also shared his feelings about his side’s unsuccessful debut.
“We are very disappointed with how the game came out. We went in excited, but it did not go well. We did not come out relaxed, and that never happens.
“We improved some in the second half and deserved something more, but it was not to be,” said López.
The left-back echoed his coach’s thoughts regarding the difficulty of these group stage Europa matches.
“It’s a very complicated competition. Aris is very strong at home and it’s clear that there will not be any easy games,” the defender said.
Apparently, Quique and Antonio were not yet aware of the other Group B result: Bayer Leverkusen’s 0-4 trouncing of Rosenborg at the Bundesliga outfit’s BayArena. The Germans took care of the Norwegian side with no trouble at all and will provide quite a challenge when they visit the Calderón at the end of the month.
Overall, it was a sluggish night for the rest of the Spanish Europa League participants, with the exception of Getafe.
Sevilla fell at home 1-0 to Paris Saint-Germain, while Villarreal lost 0-2 in Croatia to Dinamo Zagreb. Getafe provided the lone bright spot of the evening for the la Liga clubs, snatching three points from the Danish Odense BK at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez with a 1-2 comeback victory.