We dominated Atletico Madid from kick-off until the final whistle on our big return to emotion at the Red Bull Arena. We are now brimming with confidence!
We have been waiting for this moment for so long. Finally a return to emotion at the Red Bull Arena. A good 20,000 fans were there to see a fluent opening under some torrential Salzburg rain. Kamil Piatkowski was pulling all the strings by switching the play in the opening minutes. Our attacks kept on coming down the left. Luka Sucic had the first opportunity after a great thrust from Kristensen down the right. Atletico, who were fielding a young side, were no match for the confidence of our boys on the ball. Piatkowski chipped the ball forward to Junior Adamu, who reacted sharply to head it over Oblak, but also over the crossbar.
The first dangerous opportunity for Atletico came after 25 minutes. Valera set up the coach's son, Giuliano Simeone, who lacked the kind of clinical touch his father is so fond of. That didn't change their approach and Atletico bunkered down until our attacking power finally overwhelmed them in the 34th minute. Camara won the ball in midfield and suddenly we had extra men going forward. Luka Sucic sent Karim Adeyemi through, and he charged past an opposing defender and drilled straight past Oblak and into the net.
The Red Bulls continued their relentless pressure as the fans were joyful. Seiwald and Diambou both had chances, making the 1-0 lead at half-time flattering for Atletico.
We kept going after the change of ends where we left off, despite changing almost all of our team. Forward was where we wanted to go. It was Atleti though who scored against the run of play. At least they thought they had for three minutes. After a long VAR check, the goal was disallowed for a handball in the build-up.
Our team shrugged it off and continued to set the tone. Antoine Bernede smashed a shot towards the near post in the 67th minute that Oblak needed all his world-class talent to save. Chances like that were rarer than in the first-half though. Zlatko Junuzovic had a decent effort from 20 metres out after 81 minutes, which substitute keeper Grbic saved.
The game ebbed away at the end as the Spanish champions had few tools with which to threaten our commanding side. It was a test passed with flying colours and a handy morale booster ahead of the matches ahead in the Austrian Bundesliga, Champions League play-offs and FC Barcelona.
There was a great atmosphere. To play in front of our fans again after such a long time is a wonderful thing - and the young team did really well. The boys work hard to be able to play football in front of the fans. We are really happy that this is possible again. I have to congratulate the team. We can't allow ourselves to take the wrong conclusions from it though, we have to keep it in perspective. The way we played today really pleased me though.
A superb performance. Scoring against the Spanish champions is something special. We are pleased, of course. It's so much fun to play in front of so many fans. A great moment. We put our principles out there wonderfully.
1st half: Köhn – Kristensen, Piatkowski, Wöber, Guindo – Camara – Diambou, Seiwald – Sucic – Adamu, Adeyemi
2nd half: Köhn – Ludewig, Solet, Onguene (88' Okoh), Guindo (61' Ulmer) – Camara (61' Junuzovic) – Capaldo, Bernede – Aaronson – Sesko, Okafor (88' Forson)
Not available for action
Vallci (Achilles), Koita (knee), Berisha (groin) and Bernardo (adductor problems)