Simeone welcomes Atletico’s ‘extraordinary’ spirit after dramatic victory

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Diego Simeone paid tribute to his Atletico Madrid players after overcoming several obstacles in their chaotic 4-3 LaLiga victory over Getafe on Saturday.

The two teams played a particularly notable first half, which included six goals and a missed penalty kick by Luis Suarez.

Atletico were initially ahead 2-0, but then found themselves 3-2 down, with Borja Mayoral and a couple of Enes Unal penalties doing the damage.

Angel Correa equalized just before the break his second of the day, but Atletico got another blow when Felipe was sent off for a high and wild challenge on Mauro Arambarri.

However, the drama did not end there. Just when Atletico looked happy to play a draw, three substitutes joined.

Rodrigo De Paul’s deep free kick was headed back across the goal by Joao Felix, and Mario Hermoso was ready to acrobatically strike in at second question time.

Simeone struggled to understand the epic encounter, yet praised Atletico’s response.

“It’s hard to explain a match that had several mini-matches in it,” he told reporters. “If you appreciate how many times they’ve had a shot on goal, they’re very few.

“There are times when adversity must be overcome, and once again these moments emerged: the missed penalty that went from 2-0 up to 3-2 down, and then the red card gave us a tough match.

“Again, the boys’ hearts responded in an extraordinary way. Those who came on, De Paul, [Hector] Herrera, Joao … did it with a passion, that’s what we needed. “

But while the dramatic nature of such a victory led to happy scenes and took them back to fourth place, the match once again highlighted Atletico’s defensive problems.

Two penalty kicks for handball were awarded; The mayor reacted faster than the defense to its goal; and Felipe’s red card came as a direct consequence of Stefan Savic’s heavy touch right inside his own half of the pitch.

It was the sixth game in a row in which Atletico have conceded at least twice, while the three concessions took their overall LaLiga numbers for 2021-22 to 33 – surpassing their previous worst record in an entire season under Simeone (31 in 2012- 13).

Still, Simeone did not seem overly worried – at least not in connection with this match.

“The first goal is a good game for them, but the two subsequent penalties … there were no threatening games. If you are looking for a save from Oblak, there was none,” he said.

“Hopefully we are already over this adversity.”

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