Simeone: Referee no excuse for Atleti failing to win

By Sports Desk October 28, 2021

Diego Simeone criticised the refereeing as LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw away to Levante after an explosive final 15 minutes. 

Matheus Cunha put Atletico ahead in the 76th minute with his first goal for the club but Simeone was shown a second yellow card soon after for remonstrating with the fourth official on Thursday.

Referee Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes then deemed Renan Lodi handled the ball in his own box after reviewing footage at the pitchside monitor. 

Enis Bardhi, who cancelled out Antoine Griezmann's opener with a penalty that was awarded for a foul by Luis Suarez on Ruben Vezo, blasted in the 90th-minute spot-kick to earn Levante a share of the spoils. 

Asked about the decision to award the second penalty, Simeone said: "We have to improve as a team and not use as an excuse the referee's performance, their goal from the penalty, the penalty in the first half, the 200 kicks to Joao [Felix] that had no consequence. 

"We have to work to try to get out of this moment. One negative thing brings another and we quickly have to become strong and build. 

"The team has to grow and not apologise for the penalties, for the kicks to Joao or for the many yellow cards we received. 

"The reality is we have to improve ourselves and that is urgent. 

"Everything the referee does on the pitch is understood by him to be a penalty. You [journalists] are here to comment and look at the rules. 

"Nothing is going to change no matter much I think it should, so don't make me talk." 

Atleti are winless in three games in all competitions and sit five points adrift of LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad, though they have a game in hand.

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