Filipe Luis believes that Atletico Madrid will have to play a “perfect” away leg if they are to eliminate Leicester City, after expressing considerable respect for how the English champions performed in a mere 1-0 home win at the Vicente Calderon.
The former Chelsea full-back re-iterated that Craig Shakespeare’s side reminded him of his own, but then revealed Diego Simeone rather drastically changed the team’s approach in order to get the win. Atletico had to be much more proactive.
“We have to change our game when we face a team that sits back,” Filipe Luis said. “It was a different way of preparing than for a match against Bayern [Munich] or Barca or [Real] Madrid. So, when it’s a team that gives us the initiative of the ball, we have to get into our heads to try and create chances with it, so it was different for us.
“We tried a lot of shots from outside the box, yes. They close space very well, and like I said in other interviews, they’re a bit like us. They have a great defence, so we had to look to try and open them with long shots as an option. Koke hit one off the post. In the end, the goal was a penalty, we’re not like that most of the time but we got there. Above all, we were solid.”
That solidity also gives them the opportunity to play their more natural game at the KingPower Stadium, as the onus will be on Leicester to attack in order to get the goal they need.
“They have to win, they have to score goals, they can’t sit back, and we know that. We have to play with the same humility we did today, the same solidity in defence, to have the game controlled. They are very, very dangerous on the counter attack, and the Champions League is like that. One bad half-hour and you’re out. We know that.
“I think, like I say, we had the game under control and dominated it, we had the ball… it’s true we weren’t as aggressive going forward in the second half, but they didn’t really get close to our goal either.
“It could have been better, yes, but it also could have been worse. So we are happy.”
Filipe Luis also praised Antoine Griezmann – the scorer of the decisive penalty – as “a phenomenon, like always”.
“Every ball he plays is good. He makes everything look so easy, he’s on an extraordinary level.”