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Diego Simeone: “We played badly today”

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Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Atletico manager Diego Simeone spoke to the press after his team were defeated 2 - 0 against Real Madrid at Estadio Alfredo di Stefano on Saturday night.

Simeone didn’t sugarcoat his team’s performance, and took blame for things not going his way.

“We have to improve. The criticism is fair and justified, but there’s also what I’m saying,” Simeone said.

“We put in a big effort the other day [against RB Salzburg], there were nerves about going out of the Champions League. There was a lot of emotional baggage, which I’m not using as an excuse, but it exists.

“We played badly today. The coach didn’t have the clarity to see the game in the best way and the team didn’t do what was asked of them. Now we have to play again, we have a Copa del Rey game in midweek.”

Simeone was also questioned about his substitutions, in particular, the decision to take Joao Felix off the field when his team needed a goal. Felix was clearly frustrated when he left the pitch.

“I understood the game in the way in which I showed,” Simeone said on the substitution.

“I was looking for freshness in attack, whether it was Joao or [Hector] Herrera [who had to come off].

“I was looking for more legs in midfield. The game was breaking Real Madrid’s way and we wanted to compete better. We couldn’t find the goal we were looking for to reduce the difference.

“I understand [Joao Felix]’s annoyance and I share it. I know that, when one plays, you want to give more, but you have to ask the player why they got annoyed.

“I can give you what I think it could be, that he wants to play the full 90 minutes, play better...

“There’s a thousand things. When you have the chance, ask each of them why they got annoyed.”