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Atletico Madrid 'not better or worse' than Barca, Real - Diego Simeone

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone played down his team's chances of winning La Liga after an eighth victory in nine games saw them top the table at the halfway mark.

Simeone's side have kept 12 clean sheets in their first 19 games and are two points ahead of champions Barcelona, who have a game in hand. Real Madrid are third, four points off the top.

Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco struck as Celta Vigo were beaten 2-0 on Sunday.

But speaking at his postmatch news conference, Simeone said: "We are not better or worse than anyone else, but we have a group ready to compete in any moment. The team can still improve, and needs to keep improving.

"In the first 20 minutes the team suffered, but then we began to play better.

"We are doing well, and this win will give us energy to prepare for the Copa del Rey game against Rayo Vallecano on Thursday."

Leading scorer Griezmann told Canal Plus nobody at Atletico was getting carried away by their fine run.

"I would say we must keep going like this to remain top," he said. "As the boss says, game by game.

"The praise is for everyone, for what we are doing. At the back and up front we are doing well. We must keep going like this."

With fellow attackers Fernando Torres and Jackson Martinez struggling for form Griezmann has scored 10 of Atletico's 28 La Liga goals so far, and the France international said: "I work to be an important player, and I hope I can be."

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