Atletico Madrid fell to a 2-1 defeat in the Madrid Derby on Sunday night. Los Rojiblancos had the home advantage for the game but were simply no match for Real Madrid’s clinical attacking and solid defence.
After going two goals down in the first half, the hosts equalised in the last ten minutes through Hermoso. However, the goal came a tad bit too late and they could not find an equaliser in time.
Diego Simeone spoke to the media after his team’s loss at the Metropolitano. Here are the snippets from his interaction with the press as revealed by MARCA.
On Real Madrid playing with a low block: “The forcefulness is wonderful and to see a team that defends low and goes on the counterattack like that. It reminds me of the team we had with Costa when they criticized us back then.”
On Real Madrid’s performance: “The players gave everything, they gave themselves well to the game. They have a very good direct game, a quick transition from defence to attack, forcefulness, orderly defence, they play well, take advantage of their chances.”
On Antoine Griezmann starting: “We understood that Antoine could come out from the start, he gave us a lot of work as a second striker trying to go down to associate, in the second half on the wing to play with two forwards.”
On the injury situation in defence: “We hope that Savic and Giménez can be with the team more this year because last season we suffered a lot. We hope to count on them to have alternatives.”
On how the team will take the defeat: “We keep working and we look at Sevilla knowing what needs to be improved and what we do well.”
On the Joao Felix-Antoine Griezmann connection: “We couldn’t connect as we wanted.”
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.