• News

Simeone defends misfiring Atletico strikers Costa & Morata

Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid, Diego Simeone, La Liga
Getty Images

Diego Simeone insists misfiring forwards Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata have his “full support” after Atletico Madrid’s 0-0 draw at Real Valladolid.

Simeone decided to start Costa and Morata alongside each other in a 4-4-2 formation at Valladolid as Atletico looked to cut down their four-point deficit on city rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Club record signing Joao Felix and Koke, meanwhile, provided support to the attackers on the wings.

But the Valladolid defence were hardly troubled in the end by either Costa or Morata. In fact, the pair seemed to struggle to gel at all with the only real highlight being the visitors’ strong defence.

La Pucela simply couldn’t pose much of a threat to steal an unlikely win as Simeone’s men made it five clean sheets in a row.

But the stalemate proved to be a costly one as Atletico dropped valuable points in the title race, with the loss of Antoine Griezmann beginning to have a telling effect on the entire squad.

However, Simeone stood by his attackers despite the criticism coming their way.

“I see Morata and Costa working, they have my full support,” the Atletico boss told reporters.

On the match itself, Simeone said: “Real Valladolid worked very well.

“They closed the wings very well and in the first few minutes we didn’t have any precision when we found the flanks.

“Then they closed them and in the second half we were closer to being what we want to be.”

When asked about the lost points, Simeone added: “As I see it, it’s a point won for our first half, but two dropped for the second.

“In the second half, we were better, more precise and intense. We were close to what we wanted to be.”

Atletico will return to action on October 19 at home to Valencia in La Liga.

Alvaro Morata of Atletico Madrid.