Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said he had no excuses and his team had been deservedly beaten in Saturday’s 2-0 La Liga defeat at Real Sociedad.
During a goalless first half at Anoeta, Atletico’s Kevin Gameiro hit the post and Real Sociedad’s Carlos Vela was denied by a superb Jan Oblak save.
La Real stepped up a gear after the break and both Vela and Willian Jose converted penalties for a well-deserved win that kept Eusebio Sacristan’s side in a Europa League qualification spot.
Asked at the postmatch news conference if Atletico’s players were drained after their last-gasp midweek Champions League victory over Rostov, Simeone said: “We never look for excuses, or talk about the length of time to prepare for the game.
“We have been four years playing Wednesday and Sunday. We play whenever we have to, that’s it. [Real Sociedad] prepared very well for the game and played an excellent second half. They deserved their victory.”
Simeone said his team could have been ahead before the break but struggled to react after going behind.
“We played a good first half with big chances to score, above all Gameiro’s,” Simeone said. “You could see that the team was doing well. In the second half, Real Sociedad began better and from the first penalty the team could not find a path back for an equaliser. We will try to keep improving, while congratulating our opponent.”
Atletico lost on their previous trip away in La Liga, 1-0 at Sevilla, and also dropped points with a 0-0 at Leganes earlier in the season.
Simeone said top scorer Antoine Griezmann’s run of four goalless games in the league was not the issue.
“We depend on the team, not goals from one player,” he said. “That Griezmann has not scored for a while in La Liga is just a detail. Although it’s true that we are finding it difficult in these games away from home.”
Simeone also had no complaints over the penalties awarded by referee Alfonso Alvarez Izquierdo for fouls by Atletico captain Gabi and substitute Rafael Correa.
“They were both penalties,” he said. “The referee did well.”