Diego Simeone breaks unwanted ground at Atletico Madrid after Sevilla loss
Manchester United’s Champions League last-16 opponents Atletico Madrid are going through a sticky patch, following yet another La Liga loss.
The reigning La Liga champions lost 2-1 to Sevilla last night, which meant Atletico dropped out of the Champions League places.
Los Colchoneros have been leapfrogged by Rayo Vallecano, where former Reds Bebe and Radamel Falcao play, and are now eight points behind Sevilla in second place.
In the clash at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, Ivan Rakitic gave the hosts a seventh minute lead before Atletico centre back Felipe equalised with a header, from a Thomas Lemar corner.
But Lucas Ocampos scored the winner for Julen Lopetegui’s side in the 88th minute despite Joao Felix hitting the crossbar deep into injury time.
However, Simeone’s men couldn’t equalise for a second time and lost their third straight game in La Liga. It’s the first time Simeone, who is fondly called ‘El Cholo’, has lost three consecutive La Liga games during his 10-year tenure at the club.
Speaking after the Sevilla loss, Simeone told MARCA that his side were going through a ‘difficult moment’, but accepted the ‘responsibility’ lay with him, amid the poor run of form.
The Argentine said: “It is a moment of difficulty, they do not accompany the results. But I have the same illusion. You have to work, recover people and confidence that recovers when things go out. You have to have peace of mind.
“We’ve been here for 10 years. When I arrived we used to be at 10 points and now unfortunately we are in that situation. You have to look to find the forcefulness so that things roll naturally.
“The responsibility is mine and we are going to take it forward for sure. It’s a difficult time, no doubt. The team gave everything they have, worked in the first half and in the second.”
The 51-year-old believes his side currently lack a ‘forcefulness’, but he ‘trusts’ his team to come through this tricky spell.
When asked what the team is missing, Simeone added: “The forcefulness. That forcefulness that brings us closer to positioning ourselves in the parties. And then play with more tranquillity. The responsibility is mine, but I trust them.
“It’s time to work, be silent and occupy ourselves with the same enthusiasm of the first day.”
Atletico will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they travel to Granada on Wednesday.
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