Simeone: ‘Atleti want at least third’

Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid want to finish in at least third place after seeing his side held 1-1 by fourth-placed Valencia at the Vicente Calderon.

A late headed goal from Shkodran Mustafi salvaged a point for Los Che after Koke’s piledriver had given the champions the lead on 33 minutes, a result that further dented Atleti’s title hopes with Barcelona seven points clear.

“We’ll continue to compete for what we’ve wanted since the start of the season and hopefully when it ends we’ll be where the club wants us to be – and that’s third,” insisted the Argentine post-match.

“There’s still a long way to go in the League and I’ve always said that we are up against Valencia and Sevilla.

“Neither of us was able to win here but it was still a vital point for both teams. We’ve made a lot of changes to our squad and to continue competing as we have done is great credit to the players.

“In the first half we came close to being the team we are away from home, pressing very well high up the pitch and winning almost all the individual battles, but we didn’t do that after the break.

“Valencia had a little more control of the ball, although we didn’t allow them many opportunities, but they still ended up scoring.”

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