Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has praised the performance of his city rivals Real Madrid in Sunday’s 2-1 win over his side, cheekily comparing their style to an Atletico side of the past.
Real Madrid recorded six wins out of six in LaLiga after Carlo Ancelotti’s side won a fiery derby with goals from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde at the Metropolitano stadium.
The home side ended the game with ten men after goalscorer Mario Hermoso was shown red in stoppage time after receiving two yellow cards in the final two minutes of the game.
The game marked a first start of the season for Antoine Griezmann as Atletico finalized an agreement with Barcelona on the forward’s permanent transfer.
Simeone felt the Frenchman’s presence gave the side a lot of energy but was also impressed by the way his opponents played. So much so that in a snide remark he compared his city rivals to the Atletico side, which included Diego Costa – a side then frowned upon in Real Madrid camp.
According to Marca, the Argentine said: “We got that, Antoine [Griezmann] could play from the start. He gave us a lot of energy as a second striker to play on the wing with two strikers in the second half.
“I feel like I didn’t lose most of the game despite (the) result. Their penetrating power is wonderful to see, a team defending and countering in a low block.
“It reminds me of the team we had with Diego Costa when they criticized us back then!”
Costa was part of Atlético’s LaLiga-winning team in 2013/14, in a season that saw the striker score a derby-winner against Real Madrid as they went on to win the title.
Despite the defeat, the 52-year-old was happy with his side’s performance but felt they lacked the intensity, which is always punished against a side like Real Madrid.
He added: “The players gave it their all, they gave themselves to the game. [Real] produced a very good, direct game, quick switching from defense to attack, punching power, well drilled defensively. They played well and took their chances… It’s a great job by the Madrid coach.
“They counter with considerable speed that exceeds their talent. But I think we always tried not to leave the game and in the second half we increased our intensity. When Cunha and Morata came on, they gave a little more life. But if you don’t have intensity against Madrid…”
The win pushed Real Madrid Barcelona to the top of the table and maintained their 100% start to the season.