Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone lavished praise on his side for their fighting performance.
After netting two stoppage-time goals to win 3-2 over Valencia on Saturday.
Simeone’s side appeared destined for a third consecutive defeat in all competitions.
After Yunus Musah and Hugo Duro had put the visitors two goals up at the interval.
Matheus Cunha reduced the deficit in the 64th minute before added-time strikes from Angel Correa and Mario Hermoso secured a remarkable victory.
Simeone told reporters:
“At half time I spoke to the players, I told them what I felt and I have transmitted in recent years, ‘if we have to lose we lose with pride.
“The team left their soul out there, they left their lives on the pitch. There are nights that remain with you and this one is going to stay with us.”
He added: “It was a fantastic second half. We were ourselves. Watching that second half, I felt this is us.”
Atleti had collected just four points from the previous 18 available in LaLiga, with the win boosting their lagging top-four aspirations.
Simeone was almost reduced to tears on the touchline after Hermoso’s winner as the Spanish champions firmed up the fourth spot, three points clear of fifth-placed Real Sociedad.
“What did I feel? That it’s marvellous, this place I’m in.
“Whenever it feels like it might be going, I want to hold on even tighter. In the first half, my heart hurt.”
The result saw Atletico become just the second LaLiga team in the 21st century to come from behind to win a game with two goals in added time, after Betis did so – also against Valencia – in December 2011.
So, what’s next for Simeone and Atletico Madrid?
For Atletico Madrid, February will be a challenging month as they will be facing Barcelona in La Liga.
And also Manchester United in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
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