Simeone: "Costa's happy that Morata's scoring - they're friends"
Álvaro Morata has found his goal-scoring touch while Diego Costa continues to struggle, but Diego Simeone does not see any problem between his strikers.
Diego Simeone says Diego Costa is happy to see Álvaro Morata has rediscovered his goal-scoring touch for Atlético de Madrid despite losing his own place in the starting line-up. Morata came off the bench to score the only goal of the game in the 1-0 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday and then got the second in Saturday's 2-0 LaLiga defeat of Athletic Club.
Morata scoring, Diego Costa firing blanks
While Morata is seemingly growing in confidence, Costa appears to be increasingly frustrated as the goals have dried up for him in 2019/20. The 31-year-old has scored only once from open play this season and was relegated to the role of substitute for the weekend game at the Wanda Metropolitano. Simeone, though, has dismissed any suggestion Costa is feeling resentment or frustration at Morata's contrasting form.
"He seemed very happy to me that Morata has scored and that he has that consistency in front of goal," the Atleti boss told a news conference on Monday. "They are good team-mates and friends. We're still working with Costa and everyone in the squad. It's normal for strikers to be worried where goals are coming from. Everyone has their own personality and how they feel shows on the outside. These things happen with strikers, with Morata, he's much freer, looser. We have a nother tough game tomorrow and he's responding out of necessity".
Granada top the table... for now
Atlético have the chance to provisonally move top of the table if they can beat Alavés away on Tuesday. Their time at the top may be short-lived however as Barcelona host Valladolid a few hours later. With El Clásico having been postponed last weekend, promoted Granada seized their chance to go top of the table for the first time in 46 years after beating Betis 1-0.
Simeone thinks the balanced league table at this stage of the season shows how LaLiga teams have begun to improve defensively. "The numbers from the first 10 matches speak for themselves. Nothing else needs to be said," he added. "There are very good coaches. In Spain, there have always been good footballers for playing as a team. Sides have also acquired qualities to become better defensively. We see that in a lot of teams."