Atletico Madrid leave Barcelona ‘full of pride’ despite Copa exit – Simeone

The FC panel analyse Barca’s struggles in midfield after they held on against Atleti to advance to the Copa del Rey final.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said that his team’s Copa del Rey disappointment would push his team on to greater things, after they drew 1-1 in Tuesday’s dramatic semi-final second leg at Barcelona, but were eliminated from the competition 3-2 on aggregate.

Atletico might have evened up the tie early at the Camp Nou, but they missed four clear chances, and their hopes seemed quashed when Luis Suarez shot Barca 3-1 ahead after Lionel Messi’s low shot was saved by visiting goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya.

But an eventful second half saw Atletico defender Diego Godin injured, both Barca right-back Sergi Roberto and Atletico winger Yannick Carrasco sent off for second yellow cards, Antoine Griezmann have a fine goal incorrectly ruled out for offside, and visiting substitute Kevin Gameiro miss a penalty.

The incidents kept coming with Gameiro tapping home for 1-1 on the night, and Suarez also picking up a second booking, but Barca’s nine men held on through five minutes of added time to make the final.

The Atletico coach told his postmatch news conference that he was leaving the Camp Nou with a similar feeling as he had after his team’s controversial 2-1 La Liga defeat — and hoped his team could again go on to finish their season by making the Champions League final.

“Last year when we lost with nine here, I left saying that we would go and do something big, and we made the Champions League final,” Simeone said. “This year I feel the same. When you fall defeated in this way, it gives something important to the team. We have a battle to advance in La Liga, and in the Champions League.

“It is not easy…