Atletico Madrid lost 2-1 at Real Sociedad on Sunday, a result that left the Spanish champ fourth in the La Liga table, four points adrift of leader Real Madrid, which hammered Rayo Vallecano, 5-1, the day before. Despite increasing questions over Atleti’s ability to retain its title this season, Coach Diego Simeone downplayed the significance of the result, insisting that defending the title is not his team’s goal this season.
"I am coming away feeling pleased because it is a good day," Simeone said after the loss. "Valencia drew, Sevilla drew and the truth is that the defeat was not so bad.” Valencia is currently third, one point above the Rojiblancos, while Sevilla is fifth.
Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona maintained its hold on second-place with a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Almeria. Once again, coach Luis Enrique came away feeling annoyed at his team’s performance. "This was our worst match," the former Barca player said. "I don't know what was behind our lack of precision in the first half. We didn't come back through team play, rather through individual moments. They don't cover up what we did wrong."