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Simeone impressed with Lemar’s winning goal

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Diego Simeone believes Thomas Lemar’s winning goal for Atletico Madrid at Eibar will be a confidence booster for the remainder of the campaign and beyond.

The Frenchman has made 38 first-team appearances for Atleti this season after joining from Monaco in a €60m deal this summer but before Saturday had scored just two league goals.

However, the winning goal from the French winger ensured the Madrid side will keep up the pace with Barcelona in the title race, something Simeone praised following the tricky tie away at Eibar.

“Like every time we play here, it is always very tough to win,” Simeone told reporters via Football Espana after the match.

“It was a match where we went through difficult phases both in the first and second half, so to come away with three points is always pleasing.

“I think we started well, we had some transitions that, maybe, allowed us to run past the first defensive line and pressure that they tried to apply in the first 25 minutes.

“After that, they upped their pressure a little bit and started to get a bit more comfortable at the end of the first half.

“But in the second half I thought it was the opposite – they started stronger but I think we managed to move pieces and players into different positions to see if we could adapt our system a little bit.

“That was to see if we could find more opportunities for a goal, we tried Thomas Lemar on the right and then on the left with Koke on the right.

“In one of those movements we had good play and Lemar got the goal which will be important for him and for the team.”

Up next for Atleti is a tricky tie against Valencia on Wednesday night.