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Simeone lauds 'quality' Torres after two-goal display

Atletico Madrid head coach was full of praise for two-goal hero Fernando Torres following Wednesday's triumph over Elche.

Torres-cropped
Atletico Madrid veteran Fernando Torres

Diego Simeone hailed the "quality" of Fernando Torres after the veteran forward fired Atletico Madrid into the Copa del Rey last 16.

Torres scored twice as Atletico saw off third-tier Elche 3-0 on Wednesday and 4-1 on aggregate at the Wanda Metropolitano midweek.

The 33-year-old's brace opened his account for the season, having failed to score in all competitions prior to Wednesday.

"Fernando did well as goals are so important for a forward," Simeone said.

"He took maybe the two most difficult chances he had, with a lot of quality."

Atletico centre-back Jose Gimenez was also on target, opening the scoring in the 31st minute in the Spanish capital.

"The cup can be a trap as if you relax you can find it difficult to get back into the game," Simeone said. "The away goals are very valuable, so you must be focused in every moment.

"The first half was very good, we went out very strong, convinced on what we needed to do. The two goals had us in control really of the tie, although things can always turn around."

Simeone leapt to the defence of out-of-form forward Luciano Vietto, who was wasteful in attack as his run without a goal in 2017 continued.

"It seems that yes [Vietto feels under pressure]," Simeone added. "He plays very well with his back to goal, rarely loses possession, chooses his passes well. His is a tough position to play as if you do not score you get criticised.

"He does not hide, keeps playing, and he is one of the best we have in his general play and we protect him for that."

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