Simeone: Atletico couldn’t clear one play and Barcelona capitalised
Barcelona’s 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid was the result of one moment of poor defending claimed Diego Simeone, with the coach lamenting the fact his players were unable to clear the danger before Lionel Messi pounced a couple of minutes from time.
However, the Argentine tactician was pleased with his team’s overall performance, particularly that of the first half.
“We couldn’t clear a piece of play with lots of ricochets and they capitalised,” he said in his post-match press conference as he aimed to explain the defeat.
“They demonstrated their quality in the most important part of the pitch, the penalty area, and they won a match which they possibly didn’t deserve to.
“The first half was very good and we could have scored and made the game more comfortable, but it didn’t turn out that way.
“We spent a lot of that period in their half of the pitch.
“It was more even in the second half and it was the kind of match where the team which makes a mistake loses.”
Asked about the fact that Los Rojiblancos often struggle to see off Barcelona – Simeone still hasn’t defeated the Blaugrana in a LaLiga match – he pointed to that fact that Atletico have done well to so often be in with a chance.
“Unfortunately, we often end up with this 2-1 reverse [against Barcelona], especially in LaLiga,” he admitted.
“It hurts us as usual, but we did compete very well and we showed in all the matches that we could win.”
He was also asked if the state of the pitch contributed to the pitch, as Luis Enrique suggested, and if the midweek trip to Germany had an impact, but the Argentine was clear that neither of those excuses were valid.
Overall, the 46-year-old maintained a positive outlook, both because of the return of injured players and because he was just taking things one match at a time.
“The two most important things about today were the returns of [Diego] Godin and [Jan] Oblak, who were good,” he told reporters.
“We need to remain calm and my objective hasn’t changed since I arrived at the club.
“We now need to think about the matches against Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia and Granada and think that way up until the final five matches of the season, at which point we’ll see what we can do.”
The first of those fixtures, the trip to play Depor, takes place this coming Thursday at 20:45 CET.
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