Diego Simeone was in awe of the way the Atletico Madrid supporters welcomed the arrival of Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday and felt it proved key to their victory.
Supporters lined the streets outside the stadium, lit flares and chanted at great volume as the European and world champions' bus arrived for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.
Atleti had won just once in seven matches in all competitions heading into the game but Simeone's side upset the odds, scoring early through Saul Niguez and holding on for a 1-0 lead to take to Anfield.
"We started winning on the roundabout next to the stadium," Simeone told Movistar. "In eight years, I've never seen a reception like that."
He added in his press conference: "[The atmosphere] was exciting, it makes you want to play. The team responded with great effort, as they did in Valencia.
"It was not [the best night] because we didn't get a title, but there are nights you don't forget and this was one of them.
"The best team in the world comes after a lot of wins and you beat them."
Simeone had talked up the Wanda atmosphere prior to the match as he recognised the need to get a result before travelling to Anfield, where Liverpool have not lost in any competition since September 2018.
Anticipating a similar mood on Merseyside, the Atleti boss expects a tricky encounter.
"We're going to play with a lot of humility, because they are accustomed to playing massive games in their stadium," he said.Published 19 Feb 2020, 05:14 IST