Simeone happy with Torres-Mandzukic partnership

Diego Simeone expressed satisfaction with Fernando Torres and Mario Mandzukic as they showed positive signs in their fledgling partnership.

Diego Simeone was pleased with the way Fernando Torres and Mario Mandzukic combined as the strike duo appeared for the first time together for Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

The pair started Atletico's 2-0 win over Granada in La Liga on Sunday, Mandzukic netting the first goal from the penalty spot after Diego Godin had been fouled attempting to reach Torres' cross.

Substitute Raul Garcia added a second late on as Atletico climbed back above Valencia into third place, and Simeone was satisfied with how his front pairing had performed.

"The opponent were defensively organised, with many people behind the ball," he said.

"It was the first time they had played together. It's normal. They are two strikers with distinct but similar features. I'm happy."

The game marked the halfway stage of Atletico's league campaign and, with the champions four points behind city rivals and leaders Real having played a game more, Simeone is expecting a tough run-in between now and May.

"Analysing just the first half of the season wouldn't be fair because there are plenty of games left to the end," he said.

"We can see a tight fight for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth places of the standings, where you can see Villarreal, Sevilla or Valencia.

"It's obvious we have to keep working with confidence.

"It's clear the second parts of the seasons are more difficult than the first ones because the teams are in need of getting points, looking for targets, reaching Champions League, Europa League or staying in the division."