By 90Min
February 19, 2018

Diego Simeone singled his forwards out for praise after Atletico Madrid's 2-0 La Liga win over Athletic Bilbao at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.

Goals from substitute Kevin Gameiro and Diego Costa in the second-half gave the hosts victory and moved them to within seven points of leaders Barcelona.

Antoine Griezmann set up the opening goal in a game that had grown increasingly frustrating for Atletico.

"Gameiro is in good form, with important games and goals, and with pace in the final third of the pitch," Simeone said - quoted by ESPN.

"In the middle it is not so easy to compensate, but the position of Griezmann allows you to have two destabilising players [up front] and Griezmann can see their movements. 

"The change with Gameiro gave us something more. We were always close to opening the scoring, but in the end, that was when it came."

Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Attention has now inevitably turned towards next month's clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp, although Simeone has stressed the importance of the fixtures between now and then.

"Before going to Barcelona we have some very important games," Simeone said. "We are on the right path, competing well, and being ready. 

"We have a competitive team. Today Juanfran did not play, the other day it was Thomas. When they respond well, the group as a whole benefits. I make decisions as I want to win, for sure."


Simeone also vented his frustration at his side's lack of penalties this season: Atletico are yet to have been awarded one this season and Costa saw appeals turned down in the first-half having gone down in the box.

"The more we talk about this, the worse for the officials," the Argentine coach said. "Because they come here thinking of it, reading about it, people tell them ... the more we talk, the fewer penalties they will give us."

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