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I’m hurting for everyone after derby defeat – Simeone

The coach lamented a masterclass performance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid but says Atletico Madrid must assess their problems with a cool head.

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Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says the humbling 3-0 derby defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday hurts but insists there is no reason to panic.

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The last La Liga match at the Vicente Calderon against their city rivals ended dismally for the home side, as a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick sealed a win that moves Madrid four points clear at the top of the table.

Atleti have now lost three of their last four league matches and are nine points adrift of the top of the table, leaving their title hopes in serious doubt even at this stage of the season.

Simeone, however, maintains that they must assess their problems with a cool head after the disappointment of the defeat has somewhat abated.

Asked if Atleti are looking more fragile, he told a press conference: “It depends how you look at it. The defence wasn’t fragile in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

“The first goal was a goal that went in off the wall. You have to look at everything from a calm perspective. Of course we have to look for some solutions.

“The result is what it is. In the first half, they were better, and we were better in the first 20 minutes of the second half. The penalty ended any hope we had of getting into the game.

“All the games are different. Losing bothers me, there’s nothing more to it. It’s not good. There were several collective errors that lead to the defeat.

“They [Madrid] played as they always do, except that this time Cristiano Ronaldo was up top. They didn’t change the system much, but they played and pressed well.

“I’m hurting for everyone.”

Simeone sprung a surprise by starting Fernando Torres instead of Kevin Gameiro alongside Antoine Griezmann, though he brought on the France striker after the former Chelsea forward endured a difficult opening 62 minutes.

“I played Torres for depth, for a battle against the centre-back and to have a good aerial game, which we have less of with Gameiro,” Simeone explained.

“You have to balance the height, but obviously it didn’t go well.”

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