Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has said Atletico won in the Champions League quarter-final after a good 15 minutes.
Diego Simeone has guided Atleti into the competition’s semi-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win by virtue of a 1-0 win on Wednesday night.
Speaking after the match, Zubi congratulated Atletico on their victory and commended the Vicente Calderon crowd on their fierce atmosphere.
“Atletico have given us two very uncomfortable games and the saves of [Thibaut] Courtois have been key,” Marca quotes Zubizarreta as saying.
“Atletico have won the game in their space. We had a hard time in the last 10 minutes.
“This is a hot field with the public tight to the pitch and they are having a fantastic season.
“I think the tie has been tactically well-matched and Atletico played well the first 15 or 20 minutes.
“I don’t think Simeone has outdone Tata Martino tactically. Games just get more difficult.”
The defeat means Barcelona can no longer claim the treble but Zubi argued two trophies would still make a successful season.
“We compete to win it all and this is the first competition we can’t win,” he said.
“We have had a very good season and we can think over what we’ve done wrong before Granada.”
Zubi also insisted his position was not under threat despite recent events, including a two-transfer window signing ban.
“I feel supported by the board in my work. It’s difficult at this club,” he said.