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Nov, 26, 2012

Simeone delighted as Atletico march on

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone was very satisfied with his side's 4-0 victory over Sevilla on Sunday evening as their exceptional start to the La Liga season continues, but believes it is too early to be getting excited about Saturday's derby against Real Madrid.

A tenth successive win at the Estadio Vicente Calderon kept Atletico in second place in the Primera Division standings, just three behind Barcelona and a full eight ahead of their cross-town rivals.

"I am very happy with what the players have done," Simeone told reporters after the game. "From 13 games we have 11 wins, one draw and one defeat, and that is some achievement by the players. The truth is I am very satisfied with what they are doing and hope they can keep competing like this."

Atletico took full control once Falcao had converted a 20th-minute penalty awarded for a professional foul by Federico Fazio, for which the Sevilla defender was sent off. From there the home side cruised to victory thanks to an Emir Spahic own goal and strikes from Koke and Miranda, allowing their fans to relax in the second half and think about next weekend.

Sevilla coach and former Real Madrid midfielder Michel thought that the decision to red card Fazio for bundling over Koke amid a penalty-box scramble had changed the game, but Simeone disagreed.

"I do not believe it was like that," he said. "Atletico were the better team. In the first half we were phenomenal, we played with intensity, precision and aggression and made good decisions in front of goal. We had the confidence in ourselves to go for the game. In the second half the game went down a much more tranquil path. "

The victory sets up Atletico nicely for the game at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where Los Colchoneros have not won since 1999. But Simeone said he was, for the moment, focusing on Wednesday's Copa del Rey second leg at home to third-tier Jaen, into which his side take a 3-0 lead.

"We always work the same way, going from game to game," Simeone said. "We are looking toward the game on Wednesday and respecting Jaen and that competition. We must keep moving along the same line. A derby is always a special game, but when Wednesday's match is over there will be time to talk it."

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