Simeone plays down significance of slump

The reigning champions went into the weekend seven points behind pacesetters Barcelona, with a toothless display in the Catalan capital leaving them even further off the pace after Barca's 2-0 win at Eibar in the late game.

Miranda's red card just before the break did not help matters, but Simeone is sticking to his pre-season mantra that his side are simply playing for third, alongside the likes of Sevilla and Valencia.

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