‘Losing the best that could happen’

Diego Simeone has responded to Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Levante by saying it was the best thing that could have happened to his side.

A Filipe Luis own goal and a second-half effort from David Barral condemned the League leaders to defeat at Ciutat Valencia but rather than castigate his side, Simeone all-but welcomed the reverse at his post-match Press conference.

“This defeat is the best thing that could happen,” AS reports Cholo as saying.

“We expect three weeks with very high intensity and emotion. It is the ideal time for men, for players.

“We expect three fantastic weeks.”

Simeone added that Levante going in front early proved crucial, with Luis putting past his own goalkeeper after seven minutes.

“Levante scored a very quick goal and then defended well. It’s true we had chances but their goalkeeper put in a great performance,” he continued.

“We looked for different ways to tie the game but then came their shot. But we had the desire to create scoring chances in the whole game.

“Levante’s goal came in a rare move and then we tried in every way.

“Their goalkeeper had a great game. We played with a back three, a back four…We have to know how to judge teams who defend well and Levante defended very well throughout the match.”

It was put to Simeone that Atletico’s fate is still in their own hands, a fact the Coach welcomed.

“Yes, and we expect three weeks, including the game on May 24 [the Champions League final] to be fantastic,” he insisted.

“We expect three finals and we have to focus on the first one, which is Malaga on Sunday.

“We have always maintained the same line and balance. We have always said that we played two powerful competitors and it’s difficult for them to lose matches.

“On this occasion we had to lose.

“Ahead is three weeks of excitement, pure football. Now the League is much more fun.”

Tags Diego Simeone
La Liga - Club News