Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann (R) gestures after missing a goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Leicester City at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 12, 2017. PHOTO: GERARD JULIEN / AFP
Leicester City’s Christian Fuchs professed his admiration of Antoine Griezmann on Monday, but says last week’s encounter with the Atletico Madrid hotshot helped his side get the measure of him.
Griezmann scored the only goal — a disputed penalty following a foul outside the box — as Atletico won 1-0 in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
But Leicester managed to keep the France striker at bay for the rest of the game and Fuchs is hopeful he and his fellow defenders will not be given the runaround in Tuesday’s return leg.
“His movement on the pitch is amazing,” Fuchs told reporters at the King Power Stadium.
“He’s always finding the pockets, always between the lines, and it’s hard as defenders because you don’t know whether you should push up or stay back.
“In the second half we adjusted well to that and it’s something we definitely learnt from.”
With a 1-0 lead and the experience of playing in two Champions League finals in the last four years behind them, Diego Simeone’s Atletico are strong favourites.
But Leicester overcame a one-goal deficit to eliminate Sevilla in the last 16 and Fuchs believes the atmosphere at the King Power could prove a decisive factor.
“We have a great atmosphere here and the stadium will be burning tomorrow,” said the Austrian left-back.
“Our fans have proven in the last couple of games that they’re our 12th man. They can carry us to wins. They carried us to the success against Sevilla.
“When I saw the stadium before, I knew that something special would happen again. I’m fired up and I’m looking forward to it.”
Fuchs is mindful that given the improbability of last season’s title triumph, Tuesday’s game could be the club’s last chance of reaching the Champions League semi-finals for some time.
“We’re here for the first time in the club’s history,” he said.
“It’s something very special to us. Small Leicester City playing in the Champions League is already great and being in the quarter-finals is outstanding.
“We just enjoy the time that we have. We might never be here again, we might be at some point again.
“But right now it’s simply this one game that we have and we try to give everything to be successful.”