Atletico Madrid matchwinner Antoine Griezmann said strong words from coach Diego Simeone fired his team to Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League Group A victory at home to Club Brugge.
Atletico seemed fully in control when Griezmann guided a clever low strike into the net after the visiting defence failed to clear a corner near the half-hour mark, but Brugge wing-back Arnaut Danjuma equalised out of nothing with a superb long-range effort just before the break.
Memories of last year's costly UCL group draws against Qarabag were surfacing at the Wanda Metropolitano with Atletico losing their way for a spell, but early in the second period Griezmann started and finished a neat move also involving strike partner Diego Costa to make it 2-1.
Griezmann's run also tore open the Brugee defence to allow teammate Koke to score the clinching goal late on, but when speaking to BeIn Sports after the final whistle he gave credit for the victory to Simeone's half-time team talk.
"We suffer in all games, there is always an opponent there," Griezmann said. "We had difficulties in the first half, but we improved. The manager knew what words to say at half-time, as did some of the team.
"What was said will stay in the dressing room. But we got the three points and are top of the group. This keeps us calm, after what happened last season. We must keep going like this against [Borussia] Dortmund."
Bad news on the night for Atletico came in the form of suspected hamstring problems for both defender Jose Maria Gimenez and Costa, who appeared to hurt himself in setting up his strike partner's second goal.
"I don't know what happened [to Costa], but I hope he is back soon," Griezmann said.
Asked about Griezmann's display at his postmatch news conference, Simeone suggested it was unfair that last summer's Barcelona target had not made the three man shortlist for the recent FIFA "The Best" award won by Real Madrid's Luka Modric, ahead of Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool's Mo Salah.
"Last season [Griezmann] was the best player in the world," Simeone said. "He won the World Cup, the Europa League, the [UEFA] Supercup, was second in a league with Barcelona and Madrid, and he has started the season very well.
"He is where he wants to be, he chose Atletico and these are the consequences. He is enjoying an important moment in his career. I am not so worried about it, but he was the best."