Simeone proud at Atletico's Madrid derby fight
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone again marvelled at his team's ability to compete with LaLiga's superpowers after the 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in El Derbi.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave the hosts a deserved 53rd-minute lead but Atleti hit back with gusto as Antonio Griezmann swiftly levelled and they almost led through Koke.
Atleti remain sandwiched between leaders Barcelona and third-placed Madrid in LaLiga, four points better off than their neighbours.
Simeone, who famously led Atletico to a stunning title triumph in 2013-14, pointed to Madrid's excellent recent performances against Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in the Champions League to underline the impressive nature of his team remaining unbeaten at the Santiago Bernabeu in Spain's top-flight for a fifth consecutive season.
"We are up against two superpowers, like Madrid and Barcelona," he told a post-match news conference.
"Teams like PSG and Juve have seen how difficult it is to face them. What we have done in this decade is tremendous, Atletico fans should be proud of how their team is competing.
"In the first half they were better, but we then started to link up better in midfield and attack.
"When they scored we responded immediately, and we saw a game we could win with Koke and [Angel] Correa.
"We could have lost without [goalkeeper Jan] Oblak."
5 - Atletico are the first team to go unbeaten in five consecutive La Liga away games at Real Madrid in La Liga since Barcelona in 1974 (D3 L2). Historic. pic.twitter.com/lEqY91syKT
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 8, 2018
Griezmann scored for the third consecutive season on the other side of town and Simeone hailed the France star's big-game pedigree and adaptability.
"Griezmann is a great player, he is very strong in these moments mentally," he added.
"He did not start the season well, he knows that. It is not easy to reinvent yourself on the run, as he has done."