Simeone warns leaders Atleti 'cannot relax' in LaLiga title race

By Sports Desk April 22, 2021

Diego Simeone warned Atletico Madrid must not relax in a "complex" LaLiga race after a 2-0 win over Huesca moved them back to the top of the table.

Angel Correa's deflected first-half strike and a Yannick Carrasco goal 10 minutes from time at the Wanda Metropolitano on Thursday sent Atleti three points clear of Real Madrid at the summit.

Atleti thrashed Eibar 5-0 last weekend after picking up only one point from the previous two games against Sevilla and Real Betis.

Simeone knows there can be no let-up from his side in the battle to be crowned champions, with six games to go including a trip to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Cadiz on Wednesday had temporarily nudged Atletico down to second place.

Atletico boss Simeone said: "LaLiga is very complex, we cannot relax, tomorrow we will take care of the Bilbao game."

He added: "There are four teams close to being able to close a great season, Sevilla are doing well, Madrid responded well yesterday and Barcelona are playing now.

"We are to think game by game and we are not going to change now. We think about the next game and we will try to move it forward."

Barcelona won 5-2 against Getafe in Spain's late match on Thursday, after Simeone held his post-game news conference, and Ronald Koeman's side remain very much in the title frame, with a game in hand and a home fixture against Atletico to come next month.

Simeone praised his players for the way they have reacted to slipping up against Sevilla and Betis.

"After Betis I said that the team was in a moment of resistance and is growing after that game," said the former Argentina midfielder.

Simeone reiterated that Atletico's withdrawal from a proposed European Super League was the right decision.

"The day before the decision was made, they already told us what was going to be discussed, it seems like a great decision to me." he said.

Related items

  • Wilshere considering options going forward after departing Danish club AGF Wilshere considering options going forward after departing Danish club AGF

    Jack Wilshere is "considering all of my options" after the midfielder and Danish Superliga club AGF decided to mutually part ways after five months.

    The former Arsenal player arrived with the club in February on a short-term deal until the end of the season, making 14 appearances for the club that finished one point clear of relegation.

    Wilshere, 30, had been without a club since being released by Bournemouth following the 2020-21 Premier League season, and had been training with both Arsenal and Serie B club Como in an effort to stay sharp.

    In an Instagram post on Wednesday, he thanked the Danish club for taking a chance on him and providing an opportunity to play once again.

    "My time at [AGF] has come to an end," he wrote. "Myself and the club have mutually agreed it’s best for me to move on. 

    "I would like to thank everybody at AGF for the support and confidence they gave me from day one. The club showed trust in me that not many others were willing to give. 

    "Although results were hard to come by, the fans' support of me and the team was unbelievable. Thank you guys for welcoming me into your club and city. 

    "I wish you all the best in the future. Personally I am considering all of my options."

    AGF released a statement saying they "benefited from Jack Wilshere's great footballing and human qualities" and that "there has subsequently been a dialogue on continuing the cooperation, but after careful consideration, the parties have jointly come to the conclusion that the agreement will not be extended."

    AGF's sporting director Stig Inge Bjornebye added: "We all want to thank Jack for the time he has been in AGF. It has been a great pleasure to work with him and experience him and share his experiences from a very nice and special career."

  • Atletico Madrid snap up free agent Witsel Atletico Madrid snap up free agent Witsel

    Atletico Madrid have announced the signing of Axel Witsel on a free transfer following his departure from Borussia Dortmund.

    Witsel's BVB contract expired at the end of June after a four-year spell in Dortmund, and he has signed on for a single season at Atletico.

    Atletico had reportedly been keen on Boubacar Kamara but are said to have shifted focus to Witsel after the 22-year-old joined Aston Villa.

    Hector Herrera's departure to Houston Dynamo meant midfield reinforcements were a necessity for Diego Simeone.

    And in 33-year-old Witsel he has added experience and ability, with the Belgium international playing an important role at Dortmund right until his exit.

    Witsel made 29 Bundesliga appearances last season as Dortmund finished second to Bayern Munich, though it was long expected he would depart this year.

    Simeone will hope Witsel adds much-needed grit to a midfield that was often unconvincing last term, as Atletico's title defence never really got going.

    Spain will be the sixth country Witsel has played in during his distinguished career, having previously had spells in his native Belgium, Portugal, Russia, China and Germany.

  • Reggae Girlz head coach Donaldson hoping for better finishing instincts against world champs USA Reggae Girlz head coach Donaldson hoping for better finishing instincts against world champs USA

    Jamaica Reggae Girlz head coach, Lorne Donaldson, is hoping for sharper finishing in front of goal against the United States but expects that to continue improving as the team gets more games under its belt.

    The Jamaicans kicked off the Concacaf W Championship in impressive fashion with a 1-0 win over hosts Mexico on Monday.  The team, however, in all likelihood could and should have won by a bigger margin having created several clear-cut opportunities throughout the match.

    Most notably, Khadijah Shaw scored the all-important goal but also hit the upright in the second half, while attempting to chip Mexican goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.  Forward Jody Brown was also guilty of a bit of profligacy, after being played through clean on goal on three occasions but picking out the keeper with all three attempts. 

    With the Reggae Girlz scheduled to tackle the world's number one ranked the United States on Thursday, such opportunities are likely to be few and far between.  Donaldson was quick to point out, however, that attacking coordination and finishing in front of the goal takes time to develop and time is a luxury that the team did not have in its preparation for the tournament.

    “The sharpness up front takes time (to develop) and we had no games coming in.  Two weeks of preparation was all we had to get the group together.  Some of the team came in a little unfit so we tried to spend some time getting the fitness up,” Donaldson said.

    “So, for that sharpness, hopefully, our instincts will kick in, because the hardest part of the game is to get your finishing touch and we saw that.  So hopefully, we will have a bit more luck and do a better job in that department.”   

    The top two teams from each group will advance to the next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.