Atletico Madrid handed over their lead in La Liga to rivals Barcelona on Sunday afternoon with a 0-0 draw with Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon. Despite the frustration of a goalless draw in a game that Atletico dominated, Diego Simeone believes his team played the "perfect game" and insists that the club are still on path to finish third, which is what their goal was at the start of the year.
After the game, Simeone seemingly played down Atletico's hopes of a La Liga title challenge and said "we maintained our lead ahead of Sevilla, a direct rival for third spot" according to ESPNFC.
Atletico's struggles continued in front of goal despite having 13 shots at goal and having a man advantage for more than 30 minutes when Vitolo was sent off for a second yellow card. Four of those attempts were on target and none of them were clear cut, aside from a Yannick Ferreira Carrasco shot that Rico did well to save in Sevilla's goal.
"The game was pretty clear, we had big chances to score, one off the post in the second half, another from Carrasco that the keeper saved well, various from long range," Simeone said.
"The team competed well and tried from everywhere to break down Sevilla's defence. We played a complete game, a good game, but could not score."
"Other teams have done the same thing, Levante, Sporting," Simeone said. "In other games we could take that step forward and score a goal. This time we were not able to do that. We had plenty of chances. I insist that we are on the right path."
Atletico might feel a little more comfortable sitting behind Barcelona in the table with more pressure and media attention on their Catalan rivals but Atletico will have to improve in front of goal if they are to continue their title challenge deeper into the season.