Atletico winning at Real Madrid is now 'natural' - Diego Simeone
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said it was now natural for his side to win at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu after Saturday's 1-0 triumph at neighbours Real Madrid.
Antoine Griezmann's well-taken strike early in the second half was enough to give Atletico the three points -- with Cristiano Ronaldo missing two clear chances -- but Zinedine Zidane's club showed little in a disjointed display.
Atletico went 14 years without even one derbi win until the 2013 Copa del Rey final but have now won their last three La Liga visits to the Bernabeu -- and have gone a club record six clashes unbeaten.
Asked at his postgame news conference what it was like to have overseen such a turnaround in fortunes between the two clubs in Spain's capital city, the Rojiblanco coach said it was no longer a surprise for his team to beat their much richer, historically more powerful neighbours.
"We take it naturally, to be able to win here," Simeone said. "Football is marvellous -- it has these things, that from outside are hard to explain and communicate. Football is a game, we will lose some, we lost to them in last year's Champions League to a late goal, having played the same way.
"Atletico keep growing, building towards a better future, with young players who will improve. We played with pride, with hope, and the team gave a great response. Once again, the Atletico Madrid fans can feel proud of their team."
Atletico remain in second place in the standings, but now move four points ahead of third-placed Real Madrid, though leaders Barcelona will maintain their eight-point advantage should they beat Sevilla at the Camp Nou on Sunday evening.
Simeone admitted it would be tough for his team to catch Barca, though he said he would still consider second place to be a very successful season.
"It is difficult to see Barcelona losing that many games," he said. "Our objective since the start of the season has been to finish in the top three. We always try and be as far up the table as possible. But we are relaxed about it. This is a good moment to see that work, stability, collective effort, the team over individuals, pays off."
Griezmann's goal was his first in five appearances, and the first Atletico scored in 321 minutes in all competitions. Simeone said his team always played the same way, while admitting the France international will be relieved to have broken his barren run.
"We have a very defined identity," he said. "Through we lacked goals in recent games, the team always had the same intention as today. We got a goal today, had some more chances. Antoine asks that of himself, he is very demanding of himself.
"Antoine had a chance to resolve things, it was a nice goal, and brought us closer to what we wanted."
The former Atletico player finished his news conference by saying he was really content with how the day had gone.
"The truth is we are very happy to be part of Atletico," he said with a smile.