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Simeone: Stalwarts key in Bucharest decider

9 May 2012 00:51

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone says experience will be a key in his team's Europa League final against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

Simeone's side enter the encounter in Bucharest on the back of a seven match unbeaten run, with the Argentine guiding them to the final after taking over the coaching reins in December last year.

The former Lazio and Atletico Madrid midfielder said the onus was on his experienced players to lead the way at the Arena Nationala in Romania.

"A final is always special. It's a unique game. You prepare your whole life for it. You only get a couple of chances, maybe three or four in your career to play a final," Simeone said.

"You have to approach a final as if you were a young player but also as a veteran that can be playing his last final. Experience is very important because a final requires a huge amount of responsibility."

Radamel Falcao will be looking for more Europa League success having netted the winner in Porto's win over Sporting Braga in last season's final.

The Colombian forward said it would take a strong team performance for Atletico to lift the trophy.

"It's something special for a player to score a goal in the final. It happened to me last year but I have to say that the important thing is not who scores, but that the team scores," Falcao said.

"It's true that in a final whoever scores the first goal can control the rest of the game."

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa said he wanted his team to control possession against their La Liga rivals.

"Atletico Madrid like playing counter attack football but we know that and we will take the risk of giving them space because we like having possession," Bielsa said.

"We have to try to be very effective in defence and also try to have more possession than they do.

"We also need to be the more attacking side in the match to try and get a positive result."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Europa League
Date
9 May 2012
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
2 - 0
Full-time
3 - 0
Venue
Arena Naţională (Bucureşti)
Attendance
52347

Goals

R. Falcao 7'
(assist by Diego) 
1 - 0
R. Falcao 34'
(assist by A. Turan) 
2 - 0
Diego 85'  
3 - 0

Lineups

# Player Bookings
13
23
20
6
2
22 85'
14
4
11
7
9 7' 26' 34'
Coach: D. Simeone
# Player Bookings
1
15
5 64'
3
24
14 90+1'
8
21 22'
9
19
10
Coach: M. Bielsa

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
8
18
19
3
12
25
41
# Player Bookings
17 75'
28
2
6
11
13
23

Wednesday 3 September

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