Diego Simeone has taken the blame after he watched his side concede two late goals to draw 3-3 with Valencia on Sunday afternoon at the Mestalla.
“Lots of times, the manager gets it right, but this time I failed,” Atlético Madrid’s longtime coach said after the game according to Marca.
Atlético had taken the lead through Luis Suárez, but a Stefan Savić own goal levelled matters for the hosts. An Antoine Griezmann bullet strike and a rare Šime Vrsaljko goal saw Atlético re-establish their dominance on the scoreboard.
But Hugo Duro, the former Real Madrid player, struck twice late on as Atlético gave up a two-goal lead for the first time in two years in LaLiga.
Atlético lost Kieran Trippier after just five minutes with Vrsaljko coming in to replace the English right-back. The colchoneros played well, limiting Valencia to a number of half-chances, but Simeone says it was his fault that they conceded two late goals.
“In football, you pay for the mistakes,” he said. “When you don’t learn, you pay the price.”
Apart from the forced Trippier change, Simeone introduced Geoffrey Kondogbia and Héctor Herrera in place of Ángel Correa and Suárez. He also brought on João Félix for Rodrigo De Paul to balance things out for fear of going too defensive.
Kondogbia drove forward late on and lost the ball, which led to Valencia’s second goal in the 91st minute, but Simeone would not blame the player.
“I won’t single out any player for the draw,” he said. “If you have to pick someone out, it’s the coach, not a player.”