Simeone hails Atletico's collective effort


Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone lauded his players after they emerged from a gruelling 10-day schedule undefeated and with their La Liga title hopes still intact.

A Diego Reyes own goal and strikes from Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann helped second-placed Atletico to a 3-0 win at home to Real Sociedad on Tuesday.

The resounding win came after Atletico earned bragging rights over Real Madrid on Saturday, having played out back-to-back goalless draws against PSV in the Champions League and Villarreal respectively in the days prior.

And speaking post-match, Simeone told reporters: "I think that after these 10 days, in terms of the competition that we had ahead of us, we did it well.

"Especially from the collective effort that was made by playing a match almost every two-and-a-half days and recovering well from one match to another.

"I think that today's game went very well at the beginning. We found ways to play a good match. We played well from the midfield upwards, having chances to score.

"The second goal at the start of the second half also made us live more comfortably for the remainder of the game."

Atletico are five points adrift of title holders and leaders Barcelona after 27 rounds, though the reigning champions have played a game less as they prepare to face Rayo Vallecano away from home on Wednesday.

"We keep trying to improve ourselves. We know it's very unlikely Barcelona will lose matches. So we only think about ourselves," Simeone added.