Diego Simeone spoke to reporters after his side’s 1-0 defeat in Camp Nou and all but conceded that Leo Messi’s first half strike had all but handed the Liga title to Barcelona with 11 games remaining.
“It seems pretty unlikely that Barcelona will lose three games but we’ll go on competing,” the Atlético boss said. “It was a similar game to the one in Madrid. They were better in the first half and we reacted, more or less as we did then [in Madrid], but then we got a draw and this time we lost by a single goal.”
Simeone: "We scored five against Sevilla with the same formation"
Simeone also denied that he had set up to avoid defeat in Camp Nou. “We looked good in the second half. We were ourselves. The result didn’t happen because of the system. With the same formation we scored five goals against Sevilla. It’s a question of playing as we did in the second half for 90 minutes. There were very few chances in the game. Messi’s, Busquets’… It’s true that in the first half we didn’t attack but in the second we were closer to playing as the side we are.”
The Atlético boss also praised Messi, whose decisive free-kick in the first half was one that few players are capable of pulling off. “He is a special player. As the game was so close if he had put on an Atlético shirt we would have won.”