Diego Simeone says Diego Costa is happy to see Alvaro Morata has found form for Atletico Madrid despite losing his own place in the starting line-up.
Morata came off the bench to score the only goal of the game in the 1-0 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday and then got the second in Saturday’s 2-0 LaLiga defeat of Athletic Bilbao.
While Morata is seemingly growing in confidence, Costa appears to be struggling for meaningful minutes in 2019-20.
The 31-year-old has scored only once from open play this season and was relegated to the role of substitute for the weekend game at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Simeone, though, has dismissed any suggestion Costa is feeling resentment or frustration at Morata’s contrasting form.
“He looks happy that Morata has scored and that he has that consistency in front of goal,” the Atleti boss told a news conference on Monday. “They are good team-mates and friends. We keep working with Costa and everyone.
15 – Diego Simeone has won 15 of his 19 managerial games against Athletic Club in all competitions (W15 D2 L2) – no side has he beaten on more occasions as @atletienglish manager. Favourite. pic.twitter.com/axEta6fmBN
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 26, 2019
“It’s normal for strikers to be worried where goals are coming from. Everyone shows the personality they have on the outside.
“As happens with strikers, [Morata] is much freer, looser as a result of his play.”
Atletico can move top of the table with a win at Deportivo Alaves on Tuesday, at least until Barcelona play Real Sociedad a few hours later.
With the Clasico having been postponed last weekend, promoted Granada took the chance to go top after 10 matches by beating Real Betis 1-0.
Simeone thinks the balanced league table at this stage of the season shows how LaLiga teams have begun to improve defensively.
“The numbers from the first 10 matches speak for themselves. Nothing else needs to be said,” he added.
“There are very good coaches. In Spain, there have always been good footballers for the associated way of playing and teams have acquired qualities to become better defensively. We see that in a lot of teams.”
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