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Atlético captain Gabi says Europa League is 'a load of shit' after draw in Azerbaijan

Atlético face dropping into Europe’s secondary competition after two horrendous results against Qarabag.

ATLÉTICO ARE TEETERING on the brink of an unceremonious Champions League exit following back-to-back draws with Azeri minnows Qarabag in Group C, and captain Gabi Fernández isn’t particularly excited by the prospect of sliding into the Europa League.

Diego Simeone’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by a 10-man Qarabag outfit in Madrid last night, leaving the three-time European Cup finalists four points adrift of second-placed Chelsea with just two games remaining.

The likelihood is that, with just a point more than Champions League debutants Qarabag, Atlético face a battle to finish third and reach even the Europa League knockout stages, and speaking after their debilitating result at the Wanda Metropolitano, skipper Gabi made clear he had no intentions of settling for a spot in Europe’s secondary competition.

“Right now I would say that the Europa League is a load of shit”, he told beIN, “even though it has given me a lot.

“What hurts most is that we don’t have matters in our own hands, that is the cruel reality,” he added. “We have to try and beat Roma and hope Qarabag are capable of holding Chelsea. At the moment we are out. We have a chance but it is very remote.

“We’re the same players when we win and when we lose, just as the manager, the board, the fans [are the same]… We have to keep working hard and learn from this experience because there’s nothing else to do but pick ourselves up.

“We were poor in the first half. In the second half, when we wanted to turn things around, we weren’t capable of doing so. But no one has said the word impossible.”

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Roma moved to the top of Group C with a 3-0 win over second-placed Chelsea at the Stadio Olimpico last night, and the Italian capital club will visit Atlético on 22 November knowing a point will suffice in seeing them through to the last 16.

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