Diego Simeone insists this was ‘the game we wanted’ after Atletico Madrid suffered a narrow defeat to Inter without getting a single shot on target. ‘I believe we can turn it around.’

Atleti set themselves out trying to neutralise their opponents on their own turf in this Champions League Round of 16 tie, hoping to attack more in the second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano on March 13.

Marko Arnautovic had several gilt-edged scoring opportunities before he finally broke the deadlock from a tight angle, gathering the rebound from a Jan Oblak save on Lautaro Martinez.

“I think it was the game we wanted. We came very close to getting something here, we made a big mistake and they made the most of it with the goal,” Simeone told Sky Sport Italia.

“They also pounced on other situations where we lost the ball in our midfield, but overall we played the way we wanted to, closed off most of their attacks and had a few chances of our own.

“We’re relaxed, we go into the second leg and will see what happens there. The important thing is to improve in our passing, stop giving it away where they can hurt us on the counter-attack, and we can turn this around.”

Cholo was making his return to San Siro, where he played for Inter and was teammates with Simone Inzaghi at Lazio before then, so the two men know each other very well indeed.

“I love him, he’s a good lad and I am happy with all the good things that are happening to him. But I still believe Atletico can turn this around! We have to focus on Almeria next and we have many other big games before that comes around.”

Alvaro Morata was only fit for a spot on the bench, but he came on and almost found the net with a glancing header off target.

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