Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone told reporters that Rayo Vallecano’s three goals at the Vicente Calderon were entirely down to him.
Paco Jemez’s men came back from a four-goal deficit to snatch three in the last 10 minutes and almost pull off one of the greatest comebacks ever, but Simeone held up his hands and put the blame for the lapse squarely on his shoulders.
“The three goals are my responsibility but apart from that I think we played well against very courageous opponents.
“I think we sorted things out quite well but then I rushed to make changes so the buck stops with me,” confessed Simeone.
“The positive thing was that the whole team played very well for 70 minutes, particularly since it was the way we wanted to play, and we were doing well until I made the changes.
“I rushed into things and the responsibility is solely down to me.”
Nonetheless, Simeone praised the performance of Diego Costa, who returned to the club during the summer having spent the latter part of last season on loan at Rayo.
“We are counting on him and he is getting better every day. He is a brave boy who is strong and aggressive and can play in midfield or out wide, so we believed he could take advantage of the space we found behind [Jose Manuel] Casado and Tito.”
Asked about what he thought Atletico could achieve this season, Simeone replied that matters are entirely in his own players’ hands.
“At Atletico we need to have commitment from within, a group strength, and we have to understand that nobody gives you anything.
“Our destiny is in our own hands,” he concluded.