MADRID: Atletico de Madrid coach Diego Simeone sang the praises of Spanish under-21 international Saul Niguez after the youngster scored the single goal which secured victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.
The prospect remains of a second all-Madrid final in three years after Real held Manchester City goalless in their own first leg on Tuesday.
Niguez’s first-half solo goal after 11 minutes was his ninth of the season and Simeone said: “It was a great piece of individual skill with creativity. He’s a player that is developing really well and that’s great for us. You always want to score, but goals can come at any stage.
“I think the first half was much closer to what we wanted than the second. We got in front, we felt comfortable. In the second half they Bayern were better, they had lots of possession and they got in behind us. We defended well but it was a different game in the second half.”
Niguez took on the Bayern defence alone from 40 yards out, dribbled the ball past three more opponents before curling it into the bottom corner with a beyond the diving Manuel Neuer. Arturo Vidal came closest to an equaliser for Pep Guardiola’s visitors.