ATLÉTICO MADRID

Atlético boss Simeone: Normal for Suárez to be annoyed over substitution

Diego Simeone substituted Luis Suárez off in the 58th minute of Atlético Madrid's defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

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Normal for Suarez to be annoyed over substitution, insists Simeone

Atlético Madrid boss Diego Simeone says it was "normal" for Luis Suárez to be annoyed after being substituted in Los Rojiblancos' defeat to Chelsea, explaining the decision by saying his side "weren't at it up top". 

Goals from Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri gave Chelsea a 2-0 second-leg victory over Simeone's LaLiga leaders, who had succumbed to an Olivier Giroud goal in a 1-0 defeat in Madrid. 

Suárez replaced in 25th straight away Champions League game without scoring

Suárez mustered just one attempt and had only 19 touches before he was replaced by Ángel Correa in the 58th minute at Stamford Bridge. After leaving the field with a bemused smile on his face, the former Barcelona frontman retired to the stands.

The 34-year-old has now failed to score in his last 25 Champions League away games, only one less than his tally of 26 goals in the competition. 

"It's normal that players are annoyed when you take them off," Simeone told Movistar.  "We wanted to change things up top and find a different way to attack. I'm not looking for excuses. 

"They deserved to win over the two legs. The first leg was even, but they got their goal. Today they were better than us and deserved to win. We tried to find a way to score, but we weren't at it up top despite our effort."

Simeone praises João Félix performance in Chelsea defeat

With Atlético just four points clear of Barcelona at the top of LaLiga with 11 games left to play, Simeone addressed the suggestion that the Champions League was not his side's priority

He also reserved praise for standout performer João Félix, who went close to scoring late in the game for a visiting side that finished with 10 men, Stefan Savic dismissed for elbowing Antonio Rüdiger. 

"It's easy to have regrets after the tie is over," said Simeone. "You can't have regrets, the game has gone now. We need to use it to learn. 

"We wanted to stay in the Champions League, but we didn't play that well in this year's tournament, but I'm very happy especially with how João Félix played today

"We looked to change our system, tried to press them, but they were able to get through it, they were just better than us. You can't say more than that. We need to improve."