Diego Simeone commended Fernando Torres and the Atletico Madrid defence after the narrow win over Athletic Bilbao.
Torres scored the only goal of a game that, from an Atleti perspective, was marred by Diego Godin’s early injury, but Simeone singled out the defence as well as El Nino.
“I’m happy to have taken more points than last season, four rounds before the end. It’s a very important step, overcoming the competition with ourselves. Improving ourselves gives us great joy,” Simeone said, AS reports, after Atletico reached 79 points in 34 games, having recorded 78 in 38 last year.
“We made a great effort against a very tough opponent, at a spectacular ground. You can’t take a good result without the effort of the second half. The opponent pressed. We defended very well.
“Torres is living an important time, he’s helping the team continue to compete. It was a great goal. It will strengthen him and the team for what’s to come.”
Simeone was asked how he views the standings in La Liga as Atletico remain level on points with leaders Barcelona and one clear of Real Madrid.
“I repeat what I’ve said. We depend on ourselves to reach our objective, which is to do the maximum. After that, it’s whatever the rival does with goal average in their favour,” Cholo replied.
“We have to give the maximum. We depend on each game to win.”