Title challenge 'hard' – Simeone

The Atletico Madrid boss believes that Real Madrid and Barcelona’s superior finances will make it tough for his side to challenge them over a season

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has claimed that it would be tough for his side to challenge for the Liga title this term.

The capital club kept up their 100 per cent record this term with a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, their first league victory over their rivals for 14 years.

However, Simeone believes that Barcelona and Madrid’s superior finances will make it hard for Atleti to challenge them in the long term.

“It would be demagogically perfect to change [the dynamic of a two-team league] but across the season the economic power [of Barcelona and Madrid] is superior to the rest,” he told reporters.

“It makes it hard for us to challenge over a league season. We have our weapons and we try to give our lives in every game.”

Focusing on the match, Simeone went on to praise his players’ performances and commitment to the club.

“They played extraordinarily well. From their intensity to knowing where to cause harm [to Madrid]. I congratulate them because they have responded really well in an important game. The loyalty to the team and the club depends on all of us.

“We only speak about ourselves, [and] I believe we interpreted the game well. We understood that we could take advantage of Diego [Costa] between the lines and Villa played the perfect game tactically. We missed a couple of great chances in the one-on-one.

“But the players stood up: from the first to the 18th [of those called up], we knew there was only one option: and that was to win the game.”

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