Simeone: Loss 'best that could happen'
Diego Simeone looked on the postive side after Atletico Madrid lost to Levante on Sunday, saying, "This defeat is the best thing that could happen."
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All three La Liga title contenders dropped points this weekend, but whilst Barcelona and Real Madrid managed draws, Atletico lost 2-0.
With two games remaining, Atletico lead Barcelona by three points, while Real are four points back with a game in hand. Los Rojiblancos also have the Champions League final to look forward to after the domestic season ends, and Simeone said Sunday's defeat will help prepare his side for the final weeks of the season.
"This defeat is the best thing that could happen," Simeone said, according to AS. "We expect three weeks with very high intensity and emotion. It is the ideal time for men, for players. We expect three fantastic weeks."
Simeone welcomed the fact that the title race remains in Atletico's hands.
"Yes, and we expect three weeks, including the game on May 24 [the Champions League final] to be fantastic," he said. "We expect three finals and we have to focus on the first one, which is Malaga on Sunday.
"We have always maintained the same line and balance. We have always said that we played two powerful competitors and it's difficult for them to lose matches.
"On this occasion we had to lose. Ahead is three weeks of excitement, pure football. Now the league is much more fun."
Levante took an early lead with Atletico defender Felipe Luis putting past his own goalkeeper after seven minutes.
"Levante scored a very quick goal and then defended well. It's true we had chances but their goalkeeper put in a great performance," Simeone said.
"We looked for different ways to tie the game but then came their shot. But we had the desire to create scoring chances in the whole game.
"Levante's goal came in a rare move and then we tried in every way.
"Their goalkeeper had a great game. We played with a back three, a back four. ... We have to know how to judge teams who defend well and Levante defended very well throughout the match."