Diego Simeone revealed that although his side failed to amass three points against Valencia at the Mestalla, he was pleased with the all-round performance.
In a match that swung after the second half kick-off, Atletico Madrid's dominance in the opening 45 was rapidly forgotten by onlookers. Valencia soon equalised through forward Rodrigo, and had the better of the game's closing stages.
Both teams had chances to take all three points, but the majority of viewers would agree that a draw was the fairest result.
Speaking in his post-match interview, Atleti's official website reports that coach Simeone was happy with what he saw: "The matches against Valencia always have this profile. We are a mirror as a team but with different nuances and similar characteristics. I think we have a good match.
"The match was controlled at all times, even in the moments of more danger as in the first 15 minutes, in which we were able to resolve in some counterattack, especially in that play between Correa and Costa that could have been 0-2."
Hard to believe Correa is still only 23.— Sam Arregui (@The_Ambassad0r) August 20, 2018
The Argentinean was also very admiring of Valencia. While not a fan of how the late game spiralled out of midfield control, Simeone was aware that both teams tried to play in the spirit of football and win the match.
"And the more the match progressed, I think we both try to win. It was open in the end and possibly with a lot of disorder that I did not like, especially at the end.
"I stay with the previous match, with the game controlled and with very clear ideas of where to attack. And with a team that came from a huge effort after 120 minutes, it responded, once again, in a very difficult field."
While speaking on his choice to play a 4-4-2 formation, Atletico Madrid's boss commented on his starting midfield: "Simply, I understood that today with Lemar and Correa on the outside we could hurt on the outside and with Koke and Saúl, to have them two forwards of their pressure of eight we had good possibility of transition in the middle.
"After their goal the two teams looked for more offensive changes and already saw a much more messy game."
With Rodrigo the target of Real Madrid, Valencia may be hard pressed to keep their goalscorer. However, Michy Batshuayi and Kevin Gameiro did give Atletico problems, and if the latter was a bit more clinical at the death, Los Che would snatched three points.
Valencia are going to score a lot of 2nd half goals IMO. They have four very nippy/quick strikers in Rodrigo/Mina/Gameiro/Batshuayi, Marcelino will rotate them quite often IMO. Only thing the squad really lacks is a true playmaker & a real winger.— MW (@mediocentroEN) August 20, 2018
Simeone finished up by talking about the value of a result at the Mestalla, and how difficult Valencia are to play against defensively: "They have incorporated players with an offensive presence, with different characteristics in the middle of the court, they have a very good set piece.
"Obviously, removing a point from Mestalla will not be easy. We tried to take the game and we were left with a draw. "