Madrid: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone on Saturday stressed the progress Real Betis had been making in its defense, ahead of their La Liga clash.
Simeone also praised the Betis players’ ability to follow the instructions of coach Quique Setien, reports Efe news.
“Betis work very well with their system. They have improved a lot, especially defensively, and I think that improvement allows them to compete the way they are,” Simeone said at a press conference.
After seven La Liga matches, Real Betis are in the fifth spot in the standings with 12 points, on goal differential behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and just two points behind leader Barcelona.
The Argentine coach recalled their 2017-2018 Wanda Metropolitano clash against Real Betis when the Rojiblancos were held to a 0-0 draw.
“Last season at Wanda Metropolitano stadium, they played with a 5-4-1 system in defense _ and that made them very strong defensively,” Simeone said. “I think that Betis’ massive growth this season is due to their defensive work,” he added.
Atletico has been struggling versus the three-central defensive system, most recently in the first half of their UEFA Champions League 3-1 win over Club Brugge, and Atletico has to find a solution before facing Real Betis.
Simeone, however, said his team put on a good performance in most of its games.