Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said he would continue to support misfiring striker Antoine Griezmann for as long ase stays at the club, speaking after Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to neighbours Real Madrid
Neither team created many chances over the 90 minutes in the first ever “derbi” at Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano — meaning Barcelona were the day’s big winners as they now sit 10 points clear of both Madrid sides.
Playing as a lone striker Griezmann struggled for an impact on the game and, with his time without a goal at club level now up to 723 minutes, the reported Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United target was whistled by his own team’s fans as he left the pitch.
The Rojiblanco coach told his postmatch news conference that he did not agree with his club’s fans taking against any of their own players, and his selection decisions would not be swayed by pressure from the stands.
“I have been taught that those who are in my family, I am with them to the death, while they remain in my family,” Griezmann said. “And I will not change now. Things within your family are resolved within the family. I always stay calm and always do what will be best for the team — with Griezmann, or with the youth team players.”
Simeone said he was happy overall with how his team had performed against a rival who really needed three points to make up ground on Barca in the title race.
“The first 25 or 30 minutes you saw the team we were, against the best team in the world, who really needed a win after Barca result earlier,” he said. “We did very well for half an hour, then they began to push well too. The second half was a classic derbi, either of the two could have won.
“[Madrid] have extraordinary players and we competed again very well against them.”
Atletico remain unbeaten 12 games into the La Liga season, albeit having scored just 16 times, and Simeone admitted to some “anxiety” among his forwards.
“We did well collectively, but maybe lacked a bit of clarity on the transition from defence to attack,” he said. “We all thought [Angel] Correa would score, after just three minutes, and that would have changed the game completely.”
“There is some anxiety in attack for sure. [Kevin] Gameiro’s shot was cleared off the line. We cannot find goals easily at the moment. But for us it is about work, work, work, and then talent. But work first.”
The Argentine accepted that the presence at training every day of summer signing from Chelsea Diego Costa, unable to play until January, could be weighing on some of his attacker’s minds.
“I don’t believe Diego’s presence generates [anxiety],” he said. “[But] it is not so easy, as when some come in, others will have to leave. That is the most difficult part of what we are living with.”