• News

Atletico lacked ‘ability to hurt’ Alaves, says Simeone after his side slip-up

Diego Simeone - Atletico Madrid
Getty Images

The titleholders failed to keep up with table-toppers Real Madrid as they left the Mendizorrotza emty-handed.

Diego Simeone accepts responsibility for Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Alaves but insists his side lacked the “speed or ability to hurt” their La Liga opponents on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid were beaten 1-0 away from home by the lowly Alaves, with Victor Laguardia notching the match-winner inside the first five minutes.

The visitors struggled in the final third of the pitch against their defensively determined hosts, who held onto their slender lead to seal their first win of the season.

The result comes as a blow for Atleti in their title defense hopes as they dropped to third place in the table, with three points now separating them from rivals and leaders Real Madrid.

“The responsibility is mine for not having found options to overcome their defence,” Simeone said at his post-match press conference, as beIN SPORTS reports.

“When opposition teams defend well, it is difficult to find those solutions. 

“It’s also difficult when a team like Alaves close you down. We didn’t have the speed or ability to hurt them.

“They deserved the win because they scored and knew how to defend.”