Leicester City represent Atletico Madrid’s next test in the Champions League and last year’s finalists are determined to learn from Sevilla’s failure
Atletico Madrid director Clemente Villaverde says his club must learn from the harsh lessons suffered by Sevilla when they meet Leicester City in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Sevilla were dumped out in the round of 16 on Tuesday as Leicester won 2-0 at the King Power Stadium to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side were guilty of spurning a host of chances in that opening leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan – including a missed penalty – and there was more woe in the return as Steven N’Zonzi wasted a golden opportunity to force extra time when his weak spot-kick was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester held on to continue their fairytale debut campaign and set up a last-eight meeting with Atletico, runners-up to Real Madrid last season and in 2014.
“Atletico must learn to take their chances when they get them,” Villaverde told beIN Sports. “Sevilla had quite bad luck over the two games. They were better over the two games.
“But football is like that. If you have chances and cannot kill off the game, there is a chance the other team can come back.
“We have shown we can compete in this competition in these last years, and we are confident we can avoid [such] mistakes and ensure our passage.
“I don’t know about that [Leicester being the weakest team left], as in their last tie and in the groups they showed they are a team who must be taken into account.
Atlético have never lost at home to English opposition (W5 D5).
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 17, 2017
“When you are in the quarter-finals, among the best eight teams in Europe, you must respect all opponents.
“Leicester are here on their own merits. They overcame a very important team like Sevilla in the last round. For sure it will be a very difficult tie.
“This will be really difficult for us. We played them in the UEFA Cup in the 1990s [when Atletico won 4-1 on aggregate], and we hope to follow the same steps this time.”
Atletico coach Diego Simeone may probe Sampaoli for clues on playing the Foxes when the Liga rivals meet on Sunday.