Diego Simeone praised his team’s desire to take risks after Atletico Madrid beat Celta Vigo 4-1 at the Civitas Metropolitano.
Goals from Angel Correa, Rodrigo de Paul and Yannick Carrasco were added to by an Unai Nunez own goal after Gabriel Veiga scored a consolation for the visitors.
De Paul scored and recorded an assist in the same LaLiga game for the first time in his career, after 75 league games with Valencia (34) and Atletico (41).
It was the third time Atletico have scored at least four goals at home in LaLiga in 2022, just one fewer than in the previous four years combined in the competition (once in 2018, twice in 2020 and once in 2021).
Their only other home league game in 2022-23 saw them lose to Villarreal, but they fared better on Saturday despite having to soak up some pressure from Celta, especially early in the game.
Speaking to DAZN after the win, Simeone said:
“After the defeat against Villarreal we needed to start adding points in LaLiga and, little by little, we improved.
“I think we still have situations to grow.
“Today at the start, we had some losses that gave them clear scoring chances.
“But at least there was an attempt to try to play better.
“And for that, you have to take risks many times.
“But it is also true that the third goal [Carrasco’s] was a great goal.
“We scored the four goals very forcefully, with a lot of desire to get into scoring positions.”
Simeone made six changes from the team that so dramatically beat Porto 2-1 in the Champions League in midweek, with Ivo Grbic, Mario Hermoso, Nahuel Molina, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Thomas Lemar and Correa coming into the side, allowing him to rest some key players.
“We made many changes, we knew that after the Champions League the body is not the same and neither is the head.
“They created important scoring situations for us, especially the one that Ivo manages to neutralise hand in hand.
“In the second half we talked and we wanted to improve. The second half was much more complete, except for the end. Until minute 70 we had a good second half.”
One of the regulars who missed out was goalkeeper Jan Oblak, replaced by Grbic.
But the Atletico head coach was happy with the performance of Croatian stopper, who made two big saves early in the game when the score was still 0-0.
“I understood [Oblak] was not in his best shape to be able to give 100 per cent.
“It was a great opportunity for Ivo, and he took advantage of it.
“It makes us very happy for him because he is working. When you work, in the end you get the rewards.”
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