Julen Lopetegui on Atletico Madrid: “Once they get ahead it’s very complex”

The story from the Wanda Metropolitano last night was that Atletico Madrid underlined their title credentials by beating a competent rival, pulling away from Real Madrid and Barcelona and showing that they can handle the heat of leading the pack.

Diego Simeone will have been delighted with his team’s performance, with Los Rojiblancos demonstrating grit and tenacity to keep another clean sheet while proving clinical when chances in the final third arose.

In the opposition dugout, however, Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui will have been more sombre. His team, despite not playing poorly, were caught out twice by their hosts, quick transitions meeting a lethal final touch to fell the Andalusians and send them back home to the south without a point to their name.

“The assessment is logically negative because we lost,” Lopetegui said post-game in comments carried by Marca. “We wanted to win and I think we played a good game, but one thing that they’re the best in the world at is that they manage the areas so well.

“They convince players of a great level to spend a lot of time in their half and then they are good in the opposite. We have had more chances than them but we have not succeeded and they have. Once they get ahead it’s very complex.

“We started the second half well, but then they scored with a quick transition. We had clear chances, but it wasn’t possible [to come back]. We are said because the boys deserved more.”

The defeat leaves Sevilla sixth, level on points with fifth-placed Real Sociedad but with two games in hand on them and two points behind fourth placed Villarreal, on whom they have a game in hand. Sevilla play Leganes in the Copa del Rey on Saturday before travelling to Alaves in La Liga the following Tuesday.

Tags Julen Lopetegui La Liga Sevilla