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Simeone Praises Atleti Following Barca Stalemate
Football Espana, January 13th, 2014 1:36PM

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Diego Simeone was satisfied with Atletico Madrid’s 0-0 draw at home to La Liga leader Barcelona on Saturday, a result that kept Los Colchoneros tied at the top of the table with the Catalan giant, which remained in first thanks to a superior goal differential. Coach Simeone felt it was an even game and was happy with the overall performance, particularly the way his players frustrated Barca’s normally fluid attack.

“We pressed them well,” the Argentine tactician said. “We closed the spaces in midfield and blocked off the diagonals for Pedro and Alexis [Sanchez]. Both teams wanted to play to their strengths and cancel the other’s out. There weren’t many chances for either team but it was exciting. Both teams wanted to win but we’re at the top of the table, so we’re good.”

Simeone reflected on his team’s success in the first half of the season. “50 points is a lot. They have earned it, worked hard. They have done everything that was needed and I congratulate them.” The former Argentina international was especially proud given the budget difference between his team and Barca. “We said before the game we respect Barca,” he said. “There’s a small budget difference of 400 million [euros] between us so I think with the tools we have, we’ve struggled and fought to get here.”

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