Diego Simeone claimed Lionel Messi told him his handball ‘wasn’t normal’ but nonetheless accepted Atletico Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.
The Argentine appeared to control a high ball with his arm before assisting Luis Suarez for the Catalans’ second goal of the evening, leaving the Coach to reflect on a possible turning point in the match.
“I complained to Messi about the handball, and he told me it wasn’t normal, but it was still a great goal. The referee had a great game,” he told reporters.
“Barca played with a lot of speed and intensity at the start of the match, and that was the difference between the two teams.
“They’ve played with great intensity after each loss this season and nullified us … they’re a great team.
“I can’t remember us having too many chances, but we were complete in the second half.
“We were worse in the first half against [Athletic] Bilbao, so it weren’t our worst first half this season.
“It was a game of two halves. Barca were better in the first half, and we had a bad first half, while we were better in the second.”