Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone hails display despite Sevilla draw
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone claimed to be happy with a point in Sunday afternoon's goalless draw at home to Sevilla, despite the result being a set-back for his side in the La Liga title race.
Three points would have taken Atletico back ahead of Barcelona at the top of the able ahead of the two teams' meeting at the Camp Nou next Saturday. But Simeone's side were unable to find a way through, even after Sevilla had winger Vitolo sent off early in the second half.
Despite missing the chance to move ahead of Barca, and further clear of third-placed Real Madrid, the Colchoneros coach insisted at his postgame news conference that he was happy with the draw against one of Atletico's "best of the rest" rivals in La Liga.
"We maintained our lead ahead of Sevilla, a direct rival for third spot," Simeone said. "So the result is good."
The home side managed 22 shots -- five on target and two off the woodwork -- but had to settle for just one point with Sevilla's young goalkeeper Sergio Rico outstanding.
"The game was pretty clear, we had big chances to score, one off the post in the second half, another from Carrasco that the keeper saved well, various from long range," Simeone said.
"The team competed well and tried from everywhere to break down Sevilla's defence. We played a complete game, a good game, but could not score."
Atletico have scored just 12 goals in their 10 home games so far this season, although on most of the other occasions they have managed to find a breakthrough and win the game.
Simeone said many opponents now come to the Calderon and shut up shop, and his team were usually able to find a way to get the three points.
"Other teams have done the same thing, Levante, Sporting," Simeone said. "In other games we could take that step forward and score a goal. This time we were not able to do that. We had plenty of chances. I insist that we are on the right path."