Simeone: ‘Atleti were smart’

Diego Simeone downplayed a clash with Sergio Ballesteros, before praising Atletico Madrid for the win against an organised Levante.

El Cholo confirmed in the Press conference after his team’s 2-0 result that he was involved in a brief scuffle with the bulky Levante centre-back, 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. Speculation has been that the Coach and the club have grown frustrated at his inconsistency, but the forward scored the opener on Sunday night.

“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.”

Tags Adrian Simeone