Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone refused to speculate about his team’s chances of winning the Champions League after they secured qualification for the knock-out stage as group winners on Wednesday.

Atletico overpowered Austria Vienna 4-0 thanks to goals by Joao Miranda, Raul Garcia, Filipe Luis and Diego.

Simeone said: “We play with the same desire and humility in the Champions League as we do in the league.

“Our approach has always been to take it on a game-by-game basis, playing every game with the same excitement and hope, which is what a club like Atletico Madrid should do.”

Shelvey warned

Jonjo Shelvey has been “reminded of his responsibilities” by the Football Association after the Swansea midfielder made provocative gestures during the all-Welsh Premier League derby against Cardiff.

The FA investigated the incident where Shelvey made swimming gestures – an apparent reference to an alleged 1988 incident in which Cardiff fans went into the sea as supporters clashed.

An FA spokesman said: “Following an investigation, the FA has reminded Jonjo Shelvey of his responsibilities.

“No further action will follow.”

Roaming pig fuels Hanover rivalry

Hanover police were called into action ahead of tonight’s Lower Saxony derby between Hanover 96 and Eintracht Braunschweig, picking up a pig sporting a Hanover 96 scarf in the city centre as tempers between fans rose, they said yesterday.

With 96 written on one side and a green scarf around its neck, the pig was spotted wandering through the city on Wednesday night.

Police, who have since transferred it to a shelter, are on full alert ahead of the first Bundesliga derby in 37 years between the bitter regional rivals.

Genoa agreed Buffon deal in 2001

Livorno president Aldo Spinelli has revealed that he had agreed to sign Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon while he was in charge of Genoa.

“Everything was already agreed between us at Genoa and Parma,” Spinelli told Tuttosport.

“However, Luca Bucci then got injured and Parma would no longer give him to us.”

Buffon, who supported Genoa as a boy, joined Juventus in 2001.

Now 35, Buffon is coming towards the end of his career and Livorno youngster Francesco Bardi, who is owned by Inter, is one of the upcoming keepers in the Serie A.

“Bardi reminds me of a young Buffon,” Spinelli said. “He has enormous potential.”

Martino: Messi has spark back

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino praised Lionel Messi following the forward’s return to form against Milan on Wednesday night.

Messi had gone three games without a goal – a relative drought for a player whose goalscoring exploits have been remarkable since he opened his Barca account in May 2005 – and had appeared to be struggling for fitness prior to Milan’s visit to the Nou Camp in the Champions League.

But the Argentinian refound his touch in front with a double, the first from the penalty spot, as Martino’s men won 3-1 to secure a place in the knock-out stages.

Martino said: “Making negative assertions about Leo has risks. He played phenomenally well today, there was a spark to his play.”

Time Hazard for Eden – Mourinho

Eden Hazard will make his Chelsea return this weekend after Jose Mourinho omitted the Belgian from his squad for Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat of Schalke for disciplinary reasons.

The Blues boss revealed the Belgium forward missed a crucial training session but was reluctant to comment further.

“Willian played fantastic,” said Mourinho, when first asked about Hazard, before being pressed over whether the Belgian was injured.

“I don’t want to lie. He’s not injured. He forgot the time.

“Let’s end the story. He’s a kid, kids make mistakes and fathers they have to be clever in the way they educate their sons.”

Casiraghi offers support to Petkovic

Pierluigi Casiraghi has backed Vladimir Petkovic to turn Lazio’s season around.

Petkovic’s future is in doubt after Lazio’s poor start to the season which has seen them obtain only15 points from 11 games.

“It is one of those years with up and down results, they are playing without consistency and no recognised style of play,” Casiraghi, who spent five years with the Biancocelesti, said.

“They have really struggled against the bigger clubs.

“I don’t think there is a case to change the coach though. Pet-kovic is looking to give his side an identity with the right players involved.”

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