Diego Simeone praised Atletico Madrid’s astuteness in overcoming a Levante team that did not impress Juan Ignacio Martinez.
El Cholo also confirmed in the Press conference after his team’s 2-0 result that he was involved in a brief scuffle with bulky Levante centre-back Sergio Ballesteros, but dismissed it as nothing much.
“He is a professional with a strong character. He defends his club as we do ours,” commented Simeone when asked on the incident, before turning his attention to the result itself.
“Overall we played a very smart game. We tried to fight for the spaces and the wings proved essential because the opponent handled themselves very well in defence and it was not easy to get beyond them.
“Tiago and [right-back] Manquillo did very well, whilst Koke also was very good. He has grown since he has arrived, he is a very important player.”
The Coach was asked of his view on Adrian Lopez’ performance. Speuclation has been that the Coach and the club have grown frustrated at his inconsistency.
“Everyone knows what I think of him. He has failed to demonstrate it on the field and we have been unable to exploit him on the field, because we need his game and his class.
“The 12th consecutive home win? The numbers are important, but we must not stop to look at them. On Thursday we have a very tough match against Betis and that is all we think about.
“It is very important to progress game by game so as to see how far we can go.”
Meanwhile, Martinez was left thinking of what could have been, had his team turned up for the game.
“We did not deserve anything more, because we have not been able to get a goal. Atletico has two goals and were superior to us,” reflected the Levante boss afterwards.
“They had more bite in attack than us. We lacked that final pass and to be more daring than them. Already by the second goal we had allowed them to play more comfortably.
“The goal came on a play that we were warned about, they are very dangerous on the wings.
“Falcao was quiet, but the team played with an intensity and vigour that made them a difficult opponent.
“We lacked aggressiveness in attack. In attack, we have not brought an awful lot and that has made things more difficult.”
Levante have now lost three consecutive games in all competitions.
“Am I concerned? On the contrary. What has occurred in the League has not happened all season before. We have not lost two in a row in the League.
“We are on 30 points, in a situation closer to our target, but we must work hard to achieve survival. There is no concern.
“Yes I have much to think about, of course, and today [Sunday] the impression was that we could have done much more.”