Aguero rallies Atletico for Europa survival
Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero has urged his side to keep the faith as they look to avoid a shock early end to the defence of their UEFA Europa League title this week.
Atletico travel to Germany on Thursday knowing that even a victory over Group B winners Bayer Leverkusen might not be enough to prevent them from exiting the competition at the group stages.
Heading into the final round of matches, Atletico are in third spot in the standings, level on seven points with second-placed Aris Thessaloniki but with an inferior head-to-head record with the Greek side having lost both home and away.
That means Quique Sanchez Flores' men must gain a better result away to Leverkusen than Aris manage at home to already-eliminated Rosenborg. Aris have never lost in 23 European matches over 40 years at their Kleanthis Vikelidis stadium.
It is a tough task for Atletico, but they gained a morale-boosting Primera Division victory over Deportivo La Coruna last night to end a run of three successive defeats and Aguero hopes they can follow that up with a great European escape.
Aguero, who scored both goals against Depor, said: "I'm very happy with the three points and because we got back to winning. Atletico have to be up there and against Deportivo we showed that. When you win everybody's happy.
"It was important not to lose any more points. We need to continue in this way. Now we need to think about Bayer Leverkusen.
"We have to go out to win. It would be bad if we slipped up and then Aris did as well. It's going to be difficult but we need to have faith."