Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone says the remainder of their La Liga fixtures this term have turned from matches to “finals”.
Prior to Sunday’s 2-0 win over Getafe, which put Atletico three points clear in at the summit of the Spanish top flight, Simeone had called on his squad to take the remainder of the campaign game-by-game.
Following goals from Diego Godin and Diego Costa at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Atleti are on course for their first league title since 1996.
And with just five league games remaining, starting with Elche on Friday and finishing at Barcelona on May 17, Simeone claims every fixture must be treated as a cup final.
“(Sunday’s win) takes us to where we wanted to be – with five rounds to go, there are five finals to go, and we’ll play them as such,” he said.
“Now we focus on the fixture with Elche, which is the next final we have. We won’t think of anything else but to prepare for it and rest so the players get to it in good condition.
“From now on I change what I said of match-by-match – for all of the Atleticos (fans) now we play final-by-final.”
Atletico also have the small matter of a UEFA Champions League semi-final against Chelsea this month, proving that Simeone’s men are a force to be reckoned with both at home and abroad.
“I always said we depended on ourselves and I stick to it,” the Argentinian added.
“This situation depends on the ambition, the enthusiasm, the effort, the work and most of all the team’s humility.”