Simeone staying grounded after Atletico's 7-3 win over Real Madrid

By Sports Desk July 26, 2019

Diego Simeone insisted Friday's stunning pre-season rout is not the reality of potential between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Atletico ran riot at the International Champions Cup after humiliating LaLiga rivals Madrid 7-3 in New Jersey on Friday.

Diego Costa scored a first-half hat-trick and four goals in total for Atletico, who led 5-0 at half-time, while Joao Felix netted his first goal since arriving from Benfica.

It was a stunning performance at MetLife Stadium but Atletico head coach Simeone played down the result.

"I do not rush to anything," Simeone told reporters. "I live the reality of the moment. It was a good game. I see them with enthusiasm, optimism, enthusiasm. Now wait for the next game to rotate the players and get to LaLiga."

"I do not consider this match to be the reality of potential between each other," added Simeone, whose Atletico finished second behind Barcelona in LaLiga last season, ahead of Madrid.

Atletico stormed out of the blocks after Costa opened the scoring inside 43 seconds before Joao Felix doubled the lead seven minutes later.

Angel Correa and another Costa goal made it 4-0 by the 28th minute, with the latter completing his hat-trick via the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.

Costa netted his fourth six minutes into the second half before he was sent off, along with Madrid's Dani Carvajal, as tempers boiled over.

"We prepared the game well. Having seen Madrid, we looked for where we could harm them," Simeone said. "We tried to find good places at the exit of the ball ... and we were very precise, that in football it is important.

"There is always something that can be improved. Beyond the scoreboard Madrid went to our end with great force. And they had chances. That has to be adjusted and try to add talent and effort. Today all the important teams have three or four talented players in the group."

Portuguese sensation Joao Felix showed there is life after Antoine Griezmann with a dazzling display, which included a goal and two assists for Atletico.

On his big-money signing, Simeone added: "I see him better playing in front, with people ahead, so that with his vision of the game he can hurt.

"When you have Joao's talent and enthusiasm for improvement you can play anywhere."

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