‘Atleti must remain calm’

Diego Simeone believes Atletico Madrid need to ‘remain calm’ despite Sunday’s defeat against Barcelona effectively ruling them out of the title race.

Lionel Messi’s goal four minutes from time condemned Los Rojiblancos to defeat in a closely-fought encounter at the Vicente Calderon, to bring Atletico’s three-game winning streak in La Liga to an end.

"The two most important things about today were the returns of [Diego] Godin and [Jan] Oblak, who were good," proclaimed Simeone after the match.

"We need to remain calm and my objective hasn't changed since I arrived at the club.

"We now need to think about the matches against Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia and Granada and think that way up until the final five matches of the season, at which point we'll see what we can do."

Atleti may now well be aiming for a top three finish for an automatic qualification place into next season’s Champions League, while they lead Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 after the first leg of their last 16 encounter in the competition.

Tags Diego Simeone