sport

Simeone: Advantage Chelsea

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes a goalless draw in Spain has handed the advantage to Chelsea in their UEFA Champions League semi-final clash.

Stalemate at Vicente Calderon on Tuesday means there is still all to play for in the return date at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea will head back to England much the happier.

Jose Mourinho set out to contain La Liga table-toppers Atletico and saw a dogged defensive display rewarded with a clean sheet.

Atletico dominated the game for long periods, but they were unable to turn pressure into chances and failed to work Mark Schwarzer often enough after the veteran goalkeeper was sent on in place of the injured Petr Cech.

Simeone conceded as much afterwards, with the Argentine aware that his side must deliver more of a cutting edge in the final third if they are to grace the final of Europe's premier club competition for the first time in 40 years.

He said: "It was a tough game where no-one could take an advantage. We could not find the goal that would have won the match.

"It was an intense game with both sides fighting to get through to the final. They have the advantage with this draw but whoever gets the victory will go to the final."

Simeone opted to start with Brazilian playmaker Diego in midweek, rather than the returning Arda Turan, but he was pleased with the shape of his side and feels there are plenty of positives to take from the evening.

He added: "I wanted add more people in the middle to assist (Diego) Costa. We're looking for alternatives.

"(Jose) Sosa did well, Arda Turan did well. It was an intense game with many people fighting to reach the final."

While Atletico looked to take the game to their Premier League opponents, club captain Gabi and attacking full-back Juanfran believe Chelsea came to frustrate and kill the contest as a spectacle.

Gabi said on UEFA's official website: "Atletico wanted to win from start to finish. We knew they would not concede a goal easily and we come away with a bad taste."

Juanfran added: "We are not happy, we wanted to get the win. They played a defensive game because they think they can win at Stamford Bridge. We also think we can win.

"I knew that today wouldn't be easy. Today means it will be a great match at Stamford Bridge."