Atletico Madrid were on course to move back above Real Madrid and into second place on Wednesday night, cruising to a 3-0 win over Espanyol. However in the space of 15 minutes, they surrendered their lead to the battling Pericos. It means Real Madrid have second-place in their own hands again.
After the match, Atletico captain Koke Resurreccion admitted that they had not been focused in the second half when the comeback occurred.
“We had chances to score more goals, we didn’t and they were risking their lives to stay in the First Division. They had more attempts than us in the second half, that’s for sure. This cannot happen to us again in the future.”
“It wasn’t tiredness, our legs were fine. It has nothing to do with it,” Koke said to MD, frustration evident.
Meanwhile Diego Simeone was circumspect in his post-match reflections, but his final line showed perhaps his own irritation underneath his composed exterior.
“We found ourselves in a classic game at the end of the season, with a team in need and we played a good game. By passages, very controlled but we could not find the room. Lately we need a lot of goals to be calm.”
Atletico Madrid were feeling largely positive about their second half of the season, until recent weeks, but dropped points to Elche and now Espanyol will leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth should they now finish third. While these games are not of the utmost importance, the manner in which they have surrendered those points perhaps feels frivolous.