Simeone: Everyone thought Atletico would win LaLiga by 20 points

Diego Simeone has insisted that Atletico Madrid were always going to have to fight until the end in order to win the LaLiga Santander title.

The gap between Los Rojiblancos and their rivals has closed further this weekend after a 1-1 draw in the Madrid derby on Sunday. Barcelona are now just three points behind.

“I don’t want to be extreme with what I say,” Simeone said at full time.

“I leave here with loads of important things at the moment – the team’s play, the points total that everyone has put a massive effort into during a season where everyone was thinking that we were going to win the league by 20 points. I don’t know what they were thinking.

“It’s going to be a very difficult road until the end for everybody.

“We want to improve on last season and we’ll go on that track.”

On the decision not to award a penalty for Real Madrid because of a handball by Felipe, the Atletico boss was keeping quiet.

“I have too many things to worry about to think about that,” Simeone said.

“I leave that to the people on VAR and the referees. I don’t get involved because I have so many other things to think about.

“They told me it was handball by [Sergio] Ramos at Eibar.

“It’s very difficult for the referees to have a criteria – is it too low, to high, in the air, on the ground…

“I’m worried about which team wins, which team is consistent over the whole season and so on.

“VAR has made us more convinced about what used to be offside or not, if it’s a penalty or not… It’s improved a lot in all areas.”

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