‘It reminds me of the team we had with Costa… they criticised us back then!’: Diego Simeone takes a cheeky dig at rivals Real Madrid after they beat Atletico in first derby of the season by ‘defending low and going on the counter-attack’
- Diego Simeone cheekily throws dig at Real Madrid after derby loss to city rivals
- Compares Carlo Ancelotti’s men to his Atletico team of 2014 led by Diego Costa
- Real Madrid stay top of LaLiga after 2-1 win thanks to Federico Valverde’s winner
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has praised the performance of his city rivals Real Madrid in their 2-1 win over his side on Sunday, and cheekily compared their style to an Atletico team of the past.
Real Madrid made it six wins from six in LaLiga after goals from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side win a fiery derby at the Metropolitano Stadium.
The home side finished the game with ten men after goal-scorer Mario Hermoso was shown red in stoppage time, after receiving two yellow cards in the space of the final two minutes of the game.
Diego Simeone compared the current Real Madrid team to his 2013-14 side led by Diego Costa
Diego Costa led the line for Atletico during their LaLiga winning title season of 2013-14
The game saw a first start of the season for Antoine Griezmann as Atletico close in on an agreement with Barcelona for the permanent transfer of the striker.
Simeone thought the Frenchman’s presence gave the team a lot of energy, but was also impressed with how his opponents played. So much so, that in a sly dig at his city rivals, he likened them to the Atletico side that included Diego Costa – one that at the time was frowned upon by the Real Madrid camp.
According to Marca the Argentine said ‘We understood that Antoine [Griezmann] could come play from the start. He gave us a lot of energy as a second striker, in the second half on the wing to play with two forwards.
Simeone embraces Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti in Real’s 2-1 derby win over Atletico
Antoine Griezmann started for the first time this season but couldn’t prevent a derby defeat
‘I am left with the feeling of not having lost the bulk of the game despite (the) result. Their forcefulness is wonderful to see, a team that defends in a low block, and counterattacks.
‘It reminds me of the team we had with Diego Costa, when they criticised us back then!’
Costa was part of Atletico’s LaLiga winning side of 2013-14, in a season where the striker scored a derby winner against Real Madrid as they went on to win the title.
Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr combined to open the scoring in Real’s 2-1 win over their city rivals
Despite the loss, the 52-year-old was happy with his team’s performance, but thought it lacked intensity, which against a team like Real Madrid will always get punished.
He added: ‘The players gave everything, they gave themselves to the game. [Real] produced a very good direct game, a quick transition from defense to attack, forcefulness, well drilled defensively. They played well, and took advantage of their chances… It is a great job by the Madrid coach.
‘They counterattack with significant speed beyond the talent they have. But I think we always tried not to leave the game and in the second half we improved our intensity. When Cunha and Morata came on, they gave a little more life. But if against Madrid you don’t have intensity….’
The win saw Real Madrid leapfrog Barcelona to the top of the table and maintained their one hundred per cent start to the season.