By 90Min
December 23, 2018

Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone has insisted that he desires 'patience and energy' in the new year after Los Rojiblancos ended 2018 with a 1-0 victory over Espanyol.

Antoine Griezmann's second-half penalty was enough to temporarily see Los Colchoneros move level on points with league leaders Barcelona in what was the final match of 2018, and when asked about his prospects for the new year, the Argentine boss suggested he wanted his side to come back rejuvenated for the resumption of the campaign.

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As quoted by Mundo Deportivo, Simeone said: "A lot of energy and patience, you do not know how much.

"It's a year that is important in terms of football. Atlético came second in a league with Barcelona and Madrid as favourites. We won the Europa League after the disappointment of the Champions League. We saw a light and the team won.

"The UEFA Super Cup came. We qualified second in Champions to compete in the Round of 16. I ask for illusion, health, commitment, because we will continue to need it."

The Madrid outfit didn't have it all their own way, however, as they faced ten shots in the first-half and had Jan Oblak, who made fine saves to deny Borja Iglesias and Léo Baptistão, to thank for keeping the scores level at half-time.

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Yet Simeone was proud of his players and even thought they could have doubled their lead, following the introduction of Gelson Martins in the second-half.

"Hard match. Everything is taking a lot out of us, a lot of effort. We hope to have everyone except [Diego] Costa for Sevilla.

"This way we boost the mentality and the confidence. Proud of the boys, they come here and made a huge effort. They contested a difficult match against a good rival.

"In the second half, it was good until our goal. Then we were left with the hope of a counter-attack by Gelson, which ultimately did not occur."

The victory also ensured that Los Indios went 14 matches unbeaten in the league (13 in all competitions), but the Argentine insisted his side were taking every game as they come.

"We follow a line from match to match. It does not reflect anything of what we did before. Seville will be the next focus when we return in January.

"It's a good time for the championship to stop. The boys need rest, some are in a hurry. The Supercopa, the World Cup has led many teams to have injury concerns. We hope to end this year with this rest and return with energy."

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