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Simeone reacts after Atletico Madrid crash out of Europe: “We have to accept it”

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Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images

In what came as a shocking result, Atletico Madrid finished at the bottom of Group B in the UEFA Champions League and thus failed to qualify even for the Europa League. Los Rojiblancos fell to a 2-1 defeat against Porto in Portugal yesterday which came as the final nail in their coffin.

Mehdi Taremi and Stephen Eustaquio scored in the opening half-hour to put the hosts 2-0 up in the first half. Atletico Madrid pulled one back through an Ivan Marcano own goal in the final minute but it was too late for them to push for an equaliser.

Diego Simeone spoke to the press after his team’s defeat and talked about several topics including the situation his team were in. Here are the snippets from his post-match press conference.

On his view on the team situation in retrospect: “We must react with work and calmly look at the situations in Europe that caused us to concede in every game, especially away from home and that we have not been able to score. We must work well in the competitions we remain in, La Liga and Cup”.

On the saving grace other than Oblak: “Barrios. I liked the boy. He continues to evolve. I told him after the game that it is a time to learn and to listen and grow because he has very good conditions. Already in Cádiz, he did very well, today he repeated it. There is good potential in him.”

On being asked to comment on the result: “There are a lot of situations that we can comment on, but the important thing is what you see and what you see is clearly not good.”

On the opponents: “They were more intense, faster, they had more speed and were better for the second ball, they were superior. They beat us well, we deservedly finished last in the group and we are learning.”

On the road ahead: “Europe is behind, La Liga is coming and on Sunday we hope to recover our strength to play a good game and continue well in the league as we are at the moment.”

On conceding early repeatedly: “Difficult to explain why they score against us so many times at the start of the games. We will try to find the reasons why the team does not respond in this way at the beginning.”

On Atletico’s struggles in the UCL: “When we got to the round of 16, we were braver. It’s costing us. We have to accept it and see how we can improve in Europe. We’ve conceded goals in almost every game. We scored little and almost all the teams were superior. We finished where we deserved.”

On the upcoming games: “We must accept the reality. From now on another stage begins tomorrow. La Liga, the Cup, we must become strong by being together to get out of this difficult moment. And we are going to move forward, I have no doubt.”

On failing to qualify for the Europa League: “We are screwed for failing to reach the Europa League. We wanted to continue participating in Europe. It is now left behind, it can no longer be recovered. We still have the League, the Cup and we will look forward with what we have.”

On whether the club had hit rock bottom: “I don’t like the expression of hitting rock bottom. You can always be worse. Knowing how we are is the only way I know to get out of these situations. Being together, being clear about what we want, everyone getting involved. Everyone. The club, the people, us. That’s the best way to deal with this.”

On the importance of mental resilience in football: “The mental aspect comes before everything. You can have talent, play well, and be very well physically but if emotionally you are not calm, with confidence, it limits you.

“The penalty with Leverkusen, 27 seconds into the game against Cadiz (conceding). We’re 2-2 with seven minutes to go with two important chances and on the counterattack, in the 98th minute they make it 3-2. We start today and it happens to us again, after five minutes. There are many tests to overcome now. Let’s see if the group can overcome it.”

Source: MARCA

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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