Soccer News: ‘Team work continues to inspire me’ – Simeone praises Atlético’s resilience in victory over Athletic

    Diego Simeone was delighted to see Atlético Madrid’s signature resilience show through in a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, stating “the team’s performance continues to excite me.”

    Antoine Griezmann’s second-half goal – his 100th goal for Atlético in La Liga – secured Los Colchoneros ahead of Athletic in third place in Saturday’s start of the season.

    Apart from Álvaro Morata’s unauthorized kick-off, Atlético failed to make a single attempt before Griezmann’s 47th-minute goal, and they recorded just three shots in the entire game, their lowest total of a league season.

    Atlético came under pressure later on and were required to replace goalkeeper Ivo Grbic for having a volley save from Iñigo Martinez’s header, but Simeone always felt they were in control.

    “It was clear that we came to try to do. We were definitely up against one of the best teams in La Liga and I think we were able to bring the game to a level where we felt better,” Simeone said.

    “The most difficult thing in the game is to control the game, not only with the ball, but also the positional game.

    “In the second half, the goal was scored with a very good game and excellent definition. Today we had strength, and this inspires optimism for the rest of the match.

    “The work of the team continues to excite me, here for 11 years.”

    Atlético have won three in a row for the first time since April and are just three points behind Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of the El Clasico duo on Sunday.

    Simeone has been criticized for a seeming lack of progress this season, but he believes his team is on the right track, adding: “I think we’re going strong in a league with more games.

    “It’s hard to please all the guys, they all want to play, they have the World Cup coming up, and it’s hard when they don’t see themselves in the starting lineup.

    “We will count on everyone, it is impossible to play every three days with the same ones. I hope they are proud of what they are doing, because it is not easy to win in this area.”

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