Friday, October 20, 2017

Simeone not concerned despite Atletico´s bizarre possession stat

SoccerNews in La Liga 17 Dec 2016

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Diego Simeone was unconcerned by Atletico Madrid’s vastly inferior possession in a 1-0 victory over Las Palmas at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday.

Las Palmas had over 68 per cent of the ball across the 90 minutes in the Spanish capital but were beaten by a stunning strike from Saul Niguez in the 59th minute.

Atletico still managed to get away five more shots on goal than their opponents, though, and Simeone believes that is more important.

He told a post-match media conference: “I saw a very complete match from my team. In the first half we had a lot of goalscoring opportunities. When an opponent has a lot of possession, it is normal they try to hurt you.

“The important thing is not possession but chances [to score]. The team played the game that we imagined. I think we responded well to their attacks and it was a fair result.

“It is a pity we could not make more of the opportunities we had.”

The result means Atletico will finish 2016 in sixth position in LaLiga, although they are only a point behind Villarreal in fourth and three adrift of champions Barcelona.

Simeone acknowledged they need to improve when the competition resumes after a three-week break but reflected positively on a year in which they reached another Champions League final.

“We have finished an extraordinary year,” the coach said. “Looking at where we came from, the team had an extraordinary Champions League [last season], we finished first in our group in this season’s edition and the Copa del Rey has started well.

“It is true that in LaLiga we have been inconsistent and we must get better, but this is a period that will remain in the history of the club. The fans will be happy.”

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