Simeone confident of catching Barcelona despite Atleti loss

Atletico Madrid are still in the title race despite suffering a rare LaLiga defeat to Real Betis on Sunday, says Diego Simeone.

Diego Simeone has not given up hope of Atletico Madrid catching Barcelona in the title race despite suffering their second LaLiga defeat of the season at Real Betis.

After Barca came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday, Atletico had the chance to close the gap to three points with victory in Seville.

However, they were unable to leave the Benito Villamarin with anything after Sergio Canales converted a second-half penalty to seal a 1-0 home win.

It leaves Atletico six adrift of Barca with 16 games remaining but head coach Simeone is confident his side can still catch the leaders.

"I'm always optimistic, I'm grateful that Barca drew and are not too far away," he said. 

"Barca stays within a good range so we are going to continue to work."

Sunday's reverse saw Alvaro Morata make his Atletico debut after returning to Spain from Chelsea, but the striker only got one of his four chances on target across 90 minutes.

Despite the disappointing display, Simeone was happy with his new addition and hopes the goals will come once he settles into life with the Rojiblancos.

"Morata came in and worked well, he was very excited to play, we hope he can continue to grow within this team," he added.