Thursday February 6 2014
Simeone: Congratulations to Madrid

Diego Simeone has accepted that Real Madrid deserved to beat Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Madrid took a 3-0 victory from the semi-final first-leg to go into a strong position ahead of the return bout on Tuesday, although El Cholo has not given up the tie just yet.

“Is it possible? There are 90 minutes of football still to be played,” Simeone told his post-match Press conference.

“Madrid played a very good game and should be congratulated. We couldn’t match them.

“[Diego] Godin had a chance but couldn’t score.

“We tried and put in lots of effort, looked for ways to hurt them, but couldn’t today.”

Simeone did however point out that fortune favoured Madrid, particularly on the first goal, scored by Pepe, and the third from Angel Di Maria.

“Two goals came off the body of a player,” Simeone said.

“And there were many other occasions besides. But the result is still very positive for our opponent.”

Before the game the appointment of Clos Gomez as referee had been a contentious issue, but Simeone believes the official handled the fractious tie well.

“The referee didn’t influence the game or last year’s Cup final either.

“They decide on whatever they see.

“The referee must be aware of both teams and whistle what they see. Always remember that.”

Simeone acknowledged that Madrid’s high-tempo game caused problems for his players, who he felt were unable to get going.

“We couldn’t connect as we wanted to.

“They pressed well when they lost the ball and had fortune with the first goal with a ball that was going out. It came to them well.

“Madrid is always very strong. The times I’ve seen them when they’re not were strange.

“We lacked combinations and didn’t get into one-on-one situations.

“Arda had a header, Godin had a chance, but there weren’t many chances on goal.

“Yes, they had a lot more of the ball and pressured better when they didn’t have it.”

Simeone also denied that the defeat was a result of Atletico’s usually reliable defence breaking down.

“This wasn’t our worst game defensively, no. Two goals game from deflections, not chances on goal. But there were mistakes in the defence.”

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