Diego Simeone was pleased with his side’s performance in the 1-0 win over Granada as Atletico Madrid stayed top of the League.
Real Madrid’s defeat against Sevilla allowed Atletico to open up a three-point lead on their city rivals, with Barcelona moving second after dispatching Celta Vigo.
Diego Costa scored the crucial goal for Los Colchoneros and speaking at his post-match Press conference, Simeone praised Atleti for digging deep.
“We had some situations in the first half that could have made the game more comfortable,” Simeone said.
“But our opponents were set-up to counter-attack so our defence worked well in that regard.
“We brought on Jose Sosa and Diego Ribas for the second half to give us better combinations and I think we did enough to deserve to win.”
Simeone added that Atletico will have to do likewise for the rest of the campaign if they are to clinch the title.
“Every game is long, hard and difficult. The players put in a marvellous effort.
“It’s been a great season but it will be determined by how we finish it.
“With eight games to go the advantage is with the teams with the most resources.
“If we reach the last four or five games still where we are, that will encourage us greatly.”
Simeone also praised the Atletico stalwarts who, he says, are reaping the rewards for always wanting to be better.
“I appreciate the club’s efforts. We’ve done well to maintain a strong base.
“We’ve got a group of players who want to improve and grow, and know their flaws and their virtues.
“This teaches us that if you believe in what you’re doing then little by little, and with humility, we can compete.”
Simeone went on to say that he doesn’t expect either Real Madrid or Barca to fade away as the League comes to a head, but Atleti are heartened by being in the driving seat.
“Madrid and Barca will fight until the very end. There are a lot of arguments in their favour.
“We look at our work and I always tell the players that we depend on ourselves. That’s how it’ll be until the end of the season, whether it goes good or bad.”