Friday, August 19, 2022

Simeone accepts Atletico were ´bad´ in Levante loss but calls for calm

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Feb 2022

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Diego Simeone acknowledged Atletico Madrid were poor in Wednesday’s shock LaLiga defeat to Levante.

Relegation-threatened Levante, who are bottom of the table, left the Wanda Metropolitano with a 1-0 win thanks to Gonzalo Melero’s second-half goal.

Atletico were especially poor in the first half, offering very little attacking threat before improving slightly after the interval, but Levante proved more clinical despite their 0.7 expected goals (xG) being bettered by their hosts (1.2).

Levante had won one of their previous 23 league games this season – only Sporting Gijon in 1997-98 have picked up fewer victories at that stage of a campaign in LaLiga history.

And for Simeone, there was no hiding at full-time.

“We played a bad game,” he said. “We lost a nice opportunity to put ourselves in a good position in the league and we will have to make a double effort.

“Losses always hurt. Now, we must calm down and tomorrow we will chat for a while to say what I think and see what [the players] feel.

“We lost a great opportunity. We have to seek to move forward with humility and with this reality that we have to live now.”

Simeone refused to question the team’s mentality, however, convinced Atletico go into every match with the right attitude.

“In the run-up to the matches, I see the team with hope and enthusiasm,” he continued. “We came from a complicated victory.

“It could’ve been a boost to us, but we didn’t know how to take advantage of it and that makes us need a double effort.”

Atletico return to LaLiga action on Saturday as they face Osasuna in Pamplona. They host Manchester United four days later in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

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