Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone believes his side’s draw with Girona was ‘acceptable’, whilst midfielder Koke is unsure.
So what happened in Girona? (Ben MacDonald)
A Jonas Ramalho own goal eight minutes from time ensured Atleti stole a share of the spoils away to Girona on Sunday.
It was the hosts who took a one goal advantage in to half time. VAR ruled that Jan Oblak had tripped Cristhian Stuani inside the penalty area, and the former Middlesbrough attacker successfully converted the spot kick to grab his eleventh goal of the season, taking him to the top of the goal scoring charts.
Girona nearly doubled their lead in the early stages of the second half when Alex Granell saw his shot from outside the box saved by Oblak.
Atleti then had their best opportunity of the match when Saul forced a fantastic fingertip save from substitute Gorka Iraizoz, who had just replaced an injured Yassine Bounou.
The keeper couldn’t do anything to stop Los Colchoneros’ 82nd minute equaliser. Ramalho successfully tackled the ball from Diego Costa from 20 yards out, however the ball looped over the keeper and into the empty net, and the game finished a goal apiece.
What did Diego Simeone have to say following the game?
“This is always a very tough, challenging match for us,” Simeone told reporters after the match.
“We had good moments apart from their goal and in the second half, we needed to remain calm and have faith in our method and approach.
“In the last 20 minutes we could have won the game or we could have lost it, so in the end a draw was maybe the right outcome.
“I thought with Koke and Thomas Partey in the middle and the players going down the wings, as well as Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann up front, we had our chances.
“Things were difficult for the entire game and they are a really tough side to play against, so a draw is an acceptable outcome.”
Koke unhappy with too many draws
“Drawing matches is not enough for us,” Koke told BeIn Sports after the match.
“We need to start picking up victories because one point is not sufficient, especially after we only drew at home to Barcelona in our previous game.
“We must keep working hard and try to do better in front of goal, to be more clinical.”
Atleti missed out on the chance of climbing above Barcelona and Sevilla in to first place and now remain in third. They welcome Tercera Division side Sant Andreu to the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday where they hold a 1-0 advantage.