Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone praised his side after they moved a step closer to Champions League football on Sunday.
In-demand Colombian striker Radamel Falcao got the only goal of the game 15 minutes from time as Atletico claimed a 1-0 win at Sevilla.
Atletico now trail defending champions and second-placed rivals Real Madrid by just three points with six games remaining and Simeone expressed his delight with his team.
“The win tonight has moved us a step closer to the important Champions League place and also closer to second position,” the Argentine tactician said.
“This has been the goal of the team and what we have been working towards the whole season, with a lot of effort.
“We do not have on important superstar player, we are a team of players and the team did well. Thiago is not with us, and we missed him tonight because he is an important player in the midfield, but again the team is doing well.
“I have to say, I am proud of the players, and I hope that the Atletico Madrid fans will be very happy.”
Atletico’s victory also ended Sevilla’s run of seven successive wins at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, having not tasted defeat on home soil since December last year.
And although the visitors did not have it all their own way, Simeone could not fault the efforts of his players.
“We have played against a great rival, who propose a new system and style of play,” he added. “We worked with the idea of controlling the pitch today.
“They had a lot more of the ball but I think in the first half we could have scored a few goals if we had been better and had taken our chances to score.
“In the second half everything became a lot more complicated. It was a tight game and there was also a lot of tension in both sides.
“I was impressed with our players though who continued to play football with a lot of enthusiasm. I will admit that we were perhaps lucky with the winning goal but it was a great team performance.”
The race for second position could be decided by the end of the week when Atletico host city rivals Real in the Madrid derby on Saturday.
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