Diego Simeone has insisted he is proud of his Atletico Madrid players for competing on many fronts despite conceding a late equaliser to Valencia.
Raul Garcia put Atleti in front at the Mestalla with a 68th minute goal after an error by Vicente Guita but Guita’s counterpart in the visitors’ goal, Thibaut Courtois, had to make a series of saves to maintain the advantage in the Copa del Rey encounter.
Courtois was however unable to stop Helder Postiga levelling in stoppage time but Simeone did not find fault with his players’ performances.
“I always say the result is what it is and what counts is goals," he said at a Press conference.
“It is true that after 0-1 Valencia had two or three good chances that our goalkeeper resolved well.
“I am proud of these players vying to be League champions and to win the Cup.
“Whether they play good or bad they always go forward. That makes me very happy.”
Simeone agreed that Courtois was the standout player for his side, but also moved to praise goal scorer Garcia.
“Courtois’ level was fine as always and Raul is a great player,” the Coach remarked.
The game marked the first time Simeone has come up against Valencia as led by Juan Antonio Pizzi and when asked about the difference in approach between Pizzi and his predecessor Miroslav Djukic, Simeone was diplomatic.
“I say that Valencia has very good players. I said this after the 3-0 in the Calderon.
“They are a great team and should be competing for third place.
“In the game we saw a brave team that went on the attack and another who proudly defended with courage and went on the counter because we could not do it the way we wanted.”
Simeone concluded by rejecting the suggestion the Cup game would impact the weekend’s League meeting with Barcelona, or vice versa.
“We made a great effort, the result is important and the tie is now fifty percent for both teams. The match against Barcelona will not influence the Cup.”